Education Team Newsletter – Winter 2017/18

Featured Markets: The Czech Republic, Poland and Austria
By Zdenek Svoboda, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service -- Prague

Why is Central Europe a good student market?

For young Central European citizens, it is important to study the English language to better prepare themselves for a career in their chosen field and in the competitive international labor market. A proven and most attractive way to do so is to study in a country with an English curriculum, such as the United States. In the 2015-2016 school year, around 16,355 Central European students (Austria 1,141, the Czech Republic 749, Germany 10,145, Hungary 773, Liechtenstein 8, Poland 1,460, Slovakia 343, Slovenia 256, and Switzerland 1,480) chose to pursue higher education at U.S. colleges and universities.  About 18,293 Central European students studied at American secondary schools in the same year. This contributed to making the U.S. the top destination for international students in 2016. United States has managed to maintain its attractiveness not only due to an English language curricula, but above all due to the variety and quality of programs, highly developed education and research institutions, well established extracurricular activities, and the unique American academic experience and diversity of the student community. Central European students further contribute to the diversification of U.S. college and university student bodies and bring a strong scientific and educational background to their studies.  Due to the high interest in U.S., American colleges and universities have excellent opportunities to attract students and to establish partnership relationships with academic institutions in Central Europe.

Market Entry & Opportunities

Central European countries maintain strong business ties with the U.S. Most Central European universities have implemented the Bologna Process and shifted to a three-tier bachelor/master/doctorate system of education – which makes degree and credit recognition much simpler.

Although the average income is not as high as in Western Europe, Central Europe benefits from the European Union-United States Atlantis Program, which develops and improves the international curriculum, but most importantly fosters student exchange and mobility. The program aims to enhance cooperation of higher education and training institutions to improve and develop new study programs with mutual recognition of credits and qualifications. Furthermore, the program provides grants to improve mobility for students and academic staff funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture. Scholarship programs, such as Europe’s Erasmus+, also play an important part in the mobility of Central European students.

Most universities in Central Europe offer free or nearly free tuition, however, they are often overcrowded leading students to look for alternatives. Central European universities frequently offer partnerships with international universities, including U.S. based academic institutions, in order to improve their attractiveness to prospective students. Externally funded university partnership programs often cover student exchange expenses. Well established and sizeable universities in Central Europe are also found outside of capital cities. U.S. colleges and universities should consider a broad range of cities in each country and expand digital advertising.

The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a good potential market for student recruitment. High quality educational programs, with a strong emphasis on the English language, have produced a large pool of well- qualified candidates for both undergraduate and graduate studies in the U.S.

Study abroad programs are popular in the Czech Republic. Czechs discovered travel and study abroad in the 1990s after the fall of communism. Young Czechs are eager travelers with a desire to gain experience by living and studying in another country.

The number of Czechs students in the U.S. has been relatively stable in the last five years and has ranged between 700 and 800 students a year. The number of Czechs studying in the U.S. was 749 students in 2016 which represented a decrease 47 students over 2015. Over the past seven years the number of degree-seeking students has gone down slightly due to competition from both European and Asian universities.

U.S. schools are regarded as highly prestigious and attractive to Czech students and the U.S. has a good chance of regaining its former position as a preferred location for higher education. The U.S. was the 5th most popular study abroad destination for Czechs in 2016.

The knowledge level of U.S. university admission procedures has been increasing, especially at the best Czech national high schools. More well-qualified high school students are seriously interested in attending schools in the U.S. and they are well prepared for the admission process. The Czech Facebook community is booming and this network has become one of the major sources of information, as well as a place for social interaction and sharing experiences. Twitter and other social networks lag behind Facebook. Selected students can obtain scholarships from several new private foundations. English is the standard second language in the Czech Republic and is taught in schools from grade three onward. Approximately half of the Czech population speaks a foreign language and younger people tend to speak English. A recent government decision making English language mandatory for primary school students should improve the ability of Czech students to study at U.S. universities and colleges. Currently 27 percent of all Czechs speak some level of English, 59 percent Czech working population have English proficiency according to EF Index and 10 percent are reported to be fluent.

Currently, three-quarters of university students who go abroad take advantage of the Socrates– Erasmus program to study in Europe. University studies in the U.S. are most attractive for academically talented students and student athletes who take advantage of sports scholarships. Many Czech students studying at Czech universities spend time at American universities thanks to bilateral exchange agreements.

High school exchanges to the United States can be facilitated through an organization (non-profit or commercial) or can be self-organized. Czechs interested in studying in the U.S. need to apply for the correct visa. An F1 Visa or Educational Visa is for individuals who want to study or conduct research at an accredited U.S. college or university. A J1 Visa or Exchange Visitors Visa is for international students who want to do an internship in the U.S., approximately 50 percent of which are for academic purposes.

The majority of university students are interested in economic and humanities subjects whereas technical areas rank third in popularity. Around 46 percent of Czech students in the U.S. study at the undergraduate level, 26 percent in graduate programs, and 16 percent opt for non-degree studies.

Market Entry & Opportunities
Partnering with local universities is a very effective way of entering the Czech market. The most common partnership model is through student exchanges. One-year study exchange programs are highly attractive to Czech students. U.S. universities should note that Czech universities might expect foreign schools to send a similar number of students to their school.

U.S. universities may also make use of the EU-funded Erasmus Mundus cooperation and mobility program. The Erasmus Mundus Joint Program is an outstanding quality academic program and is designed and implemented by a consortium of European universities. Consortia may also include universities from the U.S. and other parts of the world. Scholarships are open to students and academics from all over the world.

More and more Czech companies are requiring the ability to work in English from their employees, following the lead of global companies based in the Czech Republic. This trend creates demand for English as a Second Language (ESL) studies in the Czech Republic. However, European countries appear to be a more attractive destination for short term ESL studies especially given the advantages of price and proximity.


Certified Education Mission

Central Europe Education Mission to The Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria - April 23-27, 2018

Join Us to Explore Emerging Educational Markets and Build Recruitment Channels
The U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassies in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria, in cooperation with EducationUSA and the Fulbright Commission, are organizing educational fairs and partnership development opportunities in their respective countries from April 23 to April 27, 2018. Representatives of appropriately accredited U.S. institutions of higher education, both undergraduate and graduate, are encouraged to register.

Meet Students and Potential Partners
The fairs will connect U.S. educational institutions with prospective students and potential institutional partners in these markets. The stops will include embassy briefings, networking events with potential partners, and student fairs in Prague, Warsaw, and Vienna. The program in each country is coordinated so that you can easily travel and attend all three stops.

Venues: April 23, Prague; April 24-25, Warsaw; April 26-27, Vienna
Czech Republic $748*, Poland $974*, Austria $981*

* Non-profit, public/private educational institutions. Private, for-profit pricing available upon request.

Each stop is optional. Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each participant.

For more information and to register, please contact:
Mr. Jose Burgos
U.S. Commercial Service – Puerto Rico


International Education Fairs

Costa Rica Community College Fair – April 19-21, 2018

Join Us to Explore the Market in Costa Rica for U.S. Community Colleges The U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica and EducationUSA invite appropriately accredited U.S. community colleges to participate in the third edition of the Costa Rica Community College Education Fair, to take place in San Jose, Costa Rica, April 19-21, 2018. This follows a successful Community College Fair that took place in April 2017, showcasing 17 accredited community colleges from across the United States. This is an opportunity for representatives of U.S. community colleges to explore the market in Costa Rica and make connections with students, parents, high school counselors, and other important contacts to recruit Costa Rican students to your schools.

Meet Students and Potential Partners
The fairs will connect U.S. community colleges directly with prospective students, their parents, and high school counselors in the market. The program will include:

  • Four high school fairs in San Jose (over 800 students expected, representing 20 Costa Rican high schools) 

  • Presentation and fair with high school counselors and directors 

  • An Open Education Fair with students and parents, to take place on Saturday, April 21st (over 1,000 students attended the open fair in 2017) 

  • Optional cultural event 

  • Transportation services to and from the airport and some meals included

Why Costa Rica? 

Costa Rica is a strong market for attracting community college students who want to study in the U.S. The U.S. and Costa Rica enjoy a good relationship, with the U.S. being Costa Rica’s main trading partner. The Costa Rican economy has enjoyed steady economic growth over the past 25 years, with GDP expected to grow 4.2% in 2016. Per the latest Open Doors report, 95,376 international students studied at U.S. community colleges in 2015-2016, up 1.4% from 2014-2015. 

The Costa Rican market is especially suited for U.S. community colleges due to the affordability of these programs. The U.S. community colleges best suited to attract Costa Rican students will offer a university transfer program (2+2 program), existing international admissions program, and dorms or housing.

*** This program is designed for appropriately accredited U.S. community colleges with tuition fees at $15,000 or less, per year.

April 19-21, 2018
*Participants to arrive in Costa Rica on April 18th

Participation Fee: $2,050
Additional Participation Fee for extra community college representative:
Expenses for travel, lodging, some meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each participant.

Registration & Questions:
Contact: Stephanie Bethel
U.S. Commercial Service – Greensboro, NC

Phone: 336-333-5345



Taiwan: Ed-Tech Overview & Opportunities Webinar
Bringing the World into the Classroom through Education Technology

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The U.S. Commercial Service, in cooperation with the Taiwan Institute for Information Industry is pleased to present this webinar to U.S. companies in the education technology sector.

Taiwan has a growing interest in innovative approaches to learning in the education sector.  Educators are increasingly embracing education information technology (IT) as they see it as a good way to extend educational resources to a broader audience, and to design more personalized learning curricula.  Game-based learning has become increasingly popular among teachers at all levels so companies are seeking opportunities in supplying the technology and content.  One area that has widely utilized education IT is language learning, since there is a huge population learning foreign languages in Taiwan and being able to create personalized lesson plans on mobile devices is very important for teachers. CS Taiwan believes the education IT sector will grow significantly in the next few years.

Education Technology of particular interest to Taiwan includes:

  • VR/AR technologies for education use
  • K-12 STEM education – especially in robotics or coding education (including teach the teacher training)
  • Vocational Training – especially for medical professionals (hospital or research)

Also, learn about the Education IT Pavilion at the 2018 Taipei Smart City Summit & Expo (March 27-30) – one of the two biggest smart city events in the world with 25,000 visitors expected, 200+ exhibitors, 200 speakers and participation of 60 cities from 30 countries across the globe.  This B2B-oriented platform is where cities and businesses meet their future opportunities and bring a more promi9sing and more convenient life for citizens.

For more information contact:
Kristi Wiggins:, Tel: 314-260-3787

William Toerpe:, Tel: 205- 731-1333


Promotional Events Supported by the U.S. Commercial Service

STUDY ABROAD FAIR – France -- January 27-28th, 2018

In 2018, L’Etudiant will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright Franco American Commission program in Paris, France with a “Study in the US” honor pavilion at the STUDY ABROAD fair dated January 27-28th, 2018. Come and present your programs, double diplomas courses, intensive English classes, study abroad programs, internships … to more than 10,000 eligible and motivated French students.

If interested, please contact:
Isabelle Singletary, or
Morgane Flaux,


GESS Dubai 2018 – February 27 – March 1, 2018

GESS Dubai 2018
 is the largest educational trade show in the entire Middle East. GESS Dubai provides the education industry with a targeted audience of emerging educationalists seeking the latest in educational supplies and solutions.

  • GESS Dubai is now entering its 11th year and has become the most attended event in the Middle East for educationalists.
  • 2017 saw 11,500 educationalists from over 87 countries visit GESS Dubai
  • GESS Dubai 2018 will have 6 country pavilions (UK, China, S. Korea, Germany, Finland, and the U.S.)

To Exhibit at GESS Dubai 2018:

For U.S. Pavilion Exhibit Space, contact:
Jonnie Wicks

Event Director
F&E Education (A Tarsus Group Company)
Tel:         +44 (0) 208 846 2920


For more information, please contact:
Ashok Ghosh
, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service -- UAE
Tel:         +971 2 431 6111

Allison Moore

Trade Fair Certification Project Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce
Tel:         +202 482 4874


OH! Study Overseas Education Expo – Taiwan -- March 3 – 7, 2018

Taipei: March 3rd (Saturday) and 4th (Sunday)
: March 5th (Monday)
: March 6th (Tuesday)
: March 7th (Wednesday)

Based on the number of participating schools and student attendance, the OH! Study Overseas Education Expo has grown to be one of the largest education fairs in Taiwan.  It’s a five-day integrated event in Taiwan’s three major cities: Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung, with an optional stop at Hsin Chu, the high-tech city of Taiwan.  The fair typically has 100 exhibitors and thousands of visitors. Since 2007, Commercial Service Taiwan has supported the OH! Study International Education Expo. 


For more information, please contact:

Grace Tao, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service - Taiwan or call 886-2-2720-1550 ext. 383


U.S. International Student Day: Boosting Opportunities Through American Education and Technology

What Is International Student Day?
The goal of an International Student Day is to show to Ministries of Education, foreign educational institutions, and incoming students and their families, the personal impact that U.S. education and technologies can have in their communities. International Student Day seeks to highlight the opportunities resulting from a U.S. education and technologies in the classroom by sharing alumni and professor experiences to boost opportunities and increase efficiencies in their country.

International Student Day Events will take place around the globe. Each country program will be 2-3 hours in length and will feature presentations from local Students and Educators that will share how U.S. education and technologies applied to the classroom have increased their professional development. A networking reception will follow the presentations where the audience can speak with U.S. schools and technology firms to increase joint collaboration in the education and technology sector.

To participate or inquire, please contact:


Virtual Education Events

Are you interested in an excellent opportunity to recruit international students?  How would you like to recruit students without ever setting foot on a plane?  The U.S. Commercial Service provides Virtual Education Events, which allow schools to showcase themselves to agents using a PowerPoint presentation on a webinar platform.  Below is a list of upcoming Virtual Education Events.  If you participate in one of these events, please be prepared to move forward if the appropriate opportunity presents itself.


Virtual Education Fair with Hong Kong

Date: Monday, February 5th at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST/6 pm MST/5 pm PST (February 6th at 9am Hong Kong time)

Who Should Participate: U.S. Boarding Schools, Undergraduate Programs (STEM), and Special Education Schools

Cost: $710 limited to 6 U.S. educational institutions on a first-come, first-serve basis

Why Hong Kong?
Reach student recruitment agents in Hong Kong without leaving your office!  This Virtual Education Fair will provide six educational institutions with the opportunity to present “live” (using online tools) to top recruitment agents in Hong Kong.  During the 2016/2017 academic year, Hong Kong ranked 23rd leading place of origin for students coming to the United States (IIE Open Doors Report).  Over 65 percent of these students are seeking undergraduate studies in the United States to improve job prospects in Hong Kong.  Recently, there has been a rise in demand for high school education in the United States. Hong Kong parents do seek education agents to search for appropriate schools. U.S. schools should consider partnering with recruitment agents in Hong Kong to promote their programs and recruit students. 

If you would like to register or have questions, please contact:
, U.S. Commercial Service -- San Jose
, U.S. Commercial Service – Houston


Virtual Education Fair with Vietnam

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 10 pm EST/7 pm PST

Who Should Participate: Focus on Undergraduate Programs (Excluding English Language Programs)

Cost: $750 limited to 6 U.S. educational institutions on a first-come, first-serve basis

Vietnamese students are eager to improve their career opportunities by studying in the United States.  Vietnam is the sixth leading country of origin for students studying in the USA.  If the idea of reaching out to 25-40 Vietnamese student recruiting agents in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to promote your school without leaving your home or campus sounds attractive to you, consider applying for our Virtual Education Fair with Vietnam taking place next spring. 

If you have any questions, please contact:
, U.S. Commercial Service – St. Louis
, U.S. Commercial Service -- Pittsburgh


Virtual Education Fair with China (Greater Shenyang area)

Date: Spring 2018

Who Should Participate:  U.S. Community Colleges

Cost: TBD; limited to six (6) U.S. Institutions.  Registration will be based on a first come, first served basis.

Interested in virtually meeting pre-screened student recruitment agents in the Greater Shenyang area, China?  Located Northeast of Beijing and per the U.S. Consulate in Shenyang, this region has especially outstanding opportunities for U.S. Community Colleges to recruit students.  In the 2016/17 academic year, the 350,755 Chinese students in the U.S. represented an 6.8% increase from the previous year and now comprise 32.5% of all international students in the U.S. The Greater Shenyang area, China, has tremendous student recruitment opportunities for U.S. community colleges.

If you would like to register or have questions, please contact:

Jim Paul, U.S. Commercial Service -- Boston



For information on future virtual fairs in the following markets/regions, please contact:

Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, please contact

Nigeria, please contact

Western Europe, please contact

Bulgaria, please contact

Kazakhstan, please contact

China – Chengdu/Shanghai/Shenyang, please contact

If there is a country/region that you are interested in that is not listed here, please let us know. For more information on any of these virtual fairs, or to be added to a list for specific events, please contact:


Top Education and Training Market Research

The Global Education Team has developed the 2017 Education and Training Services Resource Guide. 

This resource guide includes comparable and individual market assessments of countries listed as best prospects for U.S. training and educational services. Assessments are based on observation and market research.  You can access the guide by visiting:


Commerce Department Releases Report Ranking Top Export Markets, Including Education

With a goal of helping U.S. educational institutions identify export markets, the Top Markets Report on Education provides in-depth commentary on key cross-border opportunities, trends, and challenges for U.S. institutions aiming to broaden their global presence. Country case studies in the report include Brazil, China, France and Germany, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. 

To access the Top Markets Report on Education at no cost to you, and to learn more about the Top Markets Series, go to the Department of Commerce press release and click on Education:

  Notice to Visitors!

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  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.