Delegation of India guidance counselors to visit Penn State

September 16, 2009

University Park, Pa. – In an effort to facilitate greater foreign student enrollment in U.S. colleges and graduate schools, 17 high school guidance counselors from India are visiting Penn State's University Park campus on Friday (Sept. 18).

The Indian delegation, led by the Harmeet Pental and Mark Shay, the regional director of India and North America, respectively, for IDP Education, will be touring the campus and meeting with international admissions counselors, before having some time to explore State College and mingle with students and alumni there to watch the Penn State home football game against Temple. The delegation will arrive on campus at 3 p.m. Friday.

"The point of this visit is for those responsible for guiding Indian students through the higher education process to better understand what the United States has to offer as an important destination," said Mark Shay, regional director of North America for IDP Education and host of the trip. "Penn State, with its comprehensive campus and huge network of dedicated alumni, is the ideal school to showcase what U.S. higher education has to offer."

Shay considers this event vital in light of the recent reports of decreased enrollment from foreign students, particularly students from India. Recruiting companies like IDP are assisting U.S. universities in addressing this shortfall, and Shay believes events such as this can help keep the connection between the two countries strong, and remind India and the rest of the world that the United States continues to provide the best education available. Currently, IDP in India has 14 centers that council thousands of students a year on their available options.

In fall 2008, Penn State's international student enrollment reached a high of more than 4,000 undergraduate students -- an increase of 60 percent from fall 2007 -- as well as more than 600 new international graduate students, a total not seen since 2001. India is one of Penn State international graduate students' likeliest countries of origin.

IDP Education is the world's largest student placement firm, with more than 70 company-owned counseling centers in 24 countries, staffed by professional counselors. The company has been serving the needs of students and schools for 40 years. For more information, visit

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Last Updated September 17, 2009