December 16, 2009
Elizabeth Blevins, Director, Office of Communications
Office: (740) 351-3810; FAX: (740) 351-3179; Cell: (740) 464-4854
940 Second Street – Portsmouth, Ohio 45662
Web site: www.shawnee.edu
CIPA director visits Sri Lanka for America Education Fair
The U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Patricia A. Butenis,
right, talks to Shawnee State University’s Director of the
Center for International Programs and Activities Rita Haider,
center, at the “Amazing America” event in the SSU booth in
Sri Lanka. The event was to introduce American colleges and
universities to prospective students. The student, left, is
from the American College of Higher Education.
Shawnee State University’s Center for International
Programs and Activities Director Rita Haider participated in
“Amazing America” to introduce SSU to prospective students
in Sri Lanka in November.
The highly-promoted, outreach event was designed to
attract Sri Lankan students, high school and university
representatives and parents to meet with American university
officials to promote American higher education.
This is the second consecutive year the event has been
in Sri Lanka. Haider decorated the booth with SSU’s new
promotional banners. The American College of Sri Lanka
sponsored the event that was held in two different cities,
Columbo and Kandy.
“Amazing America” was held at the Cinnamon Lake Hotel
(formerly the Trans Asia Hotel), a leading five-star hotel
In Kandy, a city located in the heart of Sri Lanka, the
event was in the Queen’s Hotel, a local heritage hotel.
There are more than 10,000 high school students studying
the English language at schools in the Colombo area alone.
In addition, there are more than 50,000 English speaking
students studying at public and private colleges and
professional associations in the Colombo area. Sri Lanka has
a 93 percent literacy rate and families strongly encourage
their children to pursue advanced studies. Students see
education as a way to success and personal development.
”Education is highly valued in Sri Lankan society but
the university system can handle only five to ten percent of
qualified graduates,” Haider said. “Thousands of students
travel to foreign countries for higher education. Some of
the popular destinations have been in the UK, Australia and
Singapore. We want some of those students to come to Shawnee
The event was sponsored by the American College of
Higher Education and organized by the American Alumni
Association of Sri Lanka.