• Ready to Apply: Contributor Matthew Malinowski says that the US initiative to attract more graduate students from Chile is creating a buzz there. "President Bush is very unpopular ... but this new education initiative has been very well received. It's gotten a lot of TV coverage here," he says.
Matt says that friends of his who are completing their undergraduate degree see this as an exciting prospect. "The demand is bigger than supply. There's hope that it's the start of something big – greater access to the US being the top-ranked factor," says Matt. "A lot of people like to travel, and the US is always an attractive destination – but strict visa rules and an unpopular foreign policy have dampened views of the US. This is changing that."
The first round of students will arrive in September 2008. Matt notes that there are certain areas that the US and Chilean governments have decided to focus on – technology, engineering, political science, and education. The idea, he says, is to focus on areas that are key to sustainability in the country. There's also hope that it will mean greater access for Chile, where a rich-poor divide persists.
"This is the first time that capable people of lesser means could consider study in the US. So they're hopeful about the greater possibilities for people of all backgrounds in Chile. That signal has been picked up on here."
– Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor