The current perception of the youths of the country has a wrong notion regarding applying for foreign education abroad; they think it is expensive and only students from English medium background make it. With a majority of students dreaming to get admitted into public universities in Bangladesh, there are a rare few who dare to extend their feet to apply abroad to avoid the uncertainty. According to an estimate from the US Ambassador to Bangladesh, currently about 8,000 Bangladeshi students are pursuing higher education in the USA.
However, CrossRoads Initiative believes that it is possible to send 0.1 million Bangladeshi students abroad every year to receive higher education if proper information and guidance are provided. In many cases, the information gap creates the difference, and the organisation believes they can play a role to solve this issue.
CrossRoads Initiative pitches in to make students aware of the possibilities. Sadid Hasan, a current Minerva Schools sophomore, along with his friends embarked on a mission to increase the number of Bangladeshi applicants through their initiative. Through creating online video content and blogs on their Facebook page and YouTube channel, this mentor-mentee network aspires to highlight stories of successes of applying abroad and help students reach out to individuals who have been in their shoes and overcame the hurdles. The opportunities are not only confined to students but also for teachers who are very likely to be sent to visit the US schools to become part of the global counsellors' network. According to Sadid, if students are aware of proper information on the application process (like Common App, SAT, and financial aid), and if parents and teachers can help students in this application process, Bangladesh can send 0.1 million students abroad by 2023.
Team CrossRoads Initiative has already been hosted at the EMK Centre and Adamjee Cantonment College to inspire students and teachers, with an attendance of more than 450 participants. Furthermore, they are writing a book on university applications and the stories of Bangladeshi students studying abroad.
CrossRoads visited Cumilla Zilla School on June 14 to promote study abroad among school and college students of Bangladesh. They hope to reach out to students from every corner of the country with examples like Ishika from Dinajpur going to Harvard this year, Zawad making it to MIT from Chattogram, Seeam to make it to Harvard from Mirzapur Cadet College.
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