U.S. Consulate General Chennai and CUSAT Sign MoU to Open New “American Corner” in Kochi

U.S. Consulate General Chennai and CUSAT Sign MoU to Open New “American Corner” in Kochi

The U.S. Consulate General Chennai and the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today to establish an American Corner at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) in Kochi, Kerala.  U.S. Consul General Christopher W. Hodges and CUSAT Registrar Prof. Dr. V. Meera signed the MoU, in the presence of CUSAT Vice Chancelor Dr. P.G. Sankaran, on the sidelines of a visit by the U.S. Education Trade Delegation of 18 U.S. universities to CUSAT. 

The American Spaces program is a flexible partnership model the United States runs globally. The new American Corner at CUSAT will eventually join a network of more than 600 American Spaces spread across India, Asia, and around the globe.  The Corner will renew the vibrant programs of an American cultural space in Kerala since the 1970 closure of the USIA cultural center in Thiruvananthapuram.

“We are delighted to partner with CUSAT to open a new American Corner right here in the heart of Kochi.  This faculty- and student led-project will enable the people of Kerala to build a closer relationship with the United States, while at the same time, open the door for us to support the amazing work that CUSAT and the Centre for Science in Society is doing to inspire and empower the next generation of STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics] enthusiasts, future scientists, researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs,” said Consul General Hodges. 

The U.S. Consulate General Chennai welcomes this opportunity for sustained partnership with CUSAT in support of our common values, including a commitment to empower girls and women in STEAM, to promote hands-on-learning opportunities and STEM for social good, and to improve access to science and cultivate the next generation of change makers. The American Center Chennai will directly support the new American Corner. Past collaborations include an intensive two-week residential STEAM camp for girl students, and a business communication program. In 2020, CUSAT hosted U.S Consulate General Chennai’s Disaster Management workshop focused on Sustainable Infrastructure Development as part of the “America with Kerala” project. 

The new American Corner will offer reliable academic and research resources via its eLibraryUSA platform, English language, skills and professional development programs, media literacy workshops, exchange opportunities with U.S. Institutions and advising services for study in the United States. The American Corner partnership will also serve as a basis to create more opportunities for student exchanges and research partnerships between CUSAT and American universities. Like all American Corners around the world, the activities at American Corner CUSAT will be free of charge and open to all.  The corner is expected to open in 2024.

American Corners are independently operated and run by host institution partners, but receive funding, training, and support from the U.S. government to run programs in six key areas:

1) Alumni Engagement:  Engagement with alumni of U.S. exchange programs and alumni of U.S. universities and colleges, as well as promotion of U.S. exchange programs;

2) English Programs:  Training programs and resources to support English language teachers and learners;

3) STEAM Programs:  Experiential learning programs to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEAM) and entrepreneurial pathways for youth, as well as support STEAM teacher training;

4) Information about the U.S.:  Through a special global license, Corners offer free , uncensored, and unlimited access to world class academic and research databases through the ELibraryUSA database;

5) EducationUSA:  Through a network of EdUSA advising centers across the world, students interested in study opportunities in the U.S. can get free, unbiased, and professional advice that can help them make the right choices when it comes to selecting a U.S. higher education institution, course of study, scholarships, and navigating the U.S. higher education institution application and student visa process;

6) Cultural Programs and Community Engagement:  Cultural programs promote people-people relations between the United States and other countries, showcase the vibrancy of U.S. society, and engage local communities on key global issues of mutual concern.

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