The first-ever Career Pathways Tour took 26 high school students from all over Pakistan to visit 9 colleges and universities in Midwestern USA (Iowa, Illinois and Indiana) for three weeks, from July 16 to August 7, 2016. EducationUSA at United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) organized this summer immersion program to enable Pakistani high school students to experience life as an international student in USA. Participant Maham Awan from Roots International School, Islamabad explains how the Tour has helped her plan her future: “I went into this program thinking I wanted to be an engineer,” she says, “but I had no idea what an engineering degree would entail. The Career Pathways Tour helped me understand not only the kind of classes I would have to take as an engineering major but also the kind of job opportunities I will have after I graduate.” Salman Khan from Beaconhouse School, Islamabad says: “I was amazed to learn that students who were pursuing hospitality management in the U.S. worked in an actual hotel as a part of their training and also worked with actual guests rather than just study about it from their books.”

EducationUSA offers free advice and assistance to students hoping to pursue higher education in USA. Fields of study explored during the Tour included Natural Science, Business, Agriculture, Hospitality, Art, Engineering and Informatics. Fun activities, such as a day at Great America Amusement Park in Chicago and a campout in Iowa, were also part of the program.

The next tour planned for summer 2017 will visit colleges and universities in California and Arizona. Students pay the costs of their participation. Information about the upcoming tour and how to participate is available at www.usefpakistan.org/careerpathways.

Published in Young Nation magazine on September 10, 2016