Past Event

College Admission in the US – How to Prepare!

August 18, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
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Online event Nairobi

The United States of America is one of the international students' most appealing study destinations. Hundreds of thousands of international students are admitted to U.S. educational institutions each year. According to the Institute of International Education, there were close to 42,000 students from Sub-Saharan Africa enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities in 2019. This represented 3.9% of foreign students in the U.S. Navigating the U.S. college and graduate school admissions process as an international student necessitates some preparation and planning. The variety of colleges in the U.S. gives students some flexibility and choice to find the right field of study. However, with so many requirements and deadlines, the admissions process can quickly become challenging. Prospective students and their families face concerns and questions regarding the application process, how to finance college, types of schools and programs to apply to, among other issues. Therefore, international students should learn the best ways to prepare in order to be successful.

These informational webinar series are intended for students who are based in Africa and wish to apply to colleges and universities in the United States. Students and their families will get an in-depth look at the admissions process and critical requirements concerning preparing for life in the United States.

The webinars will be delivered in a 3-part series: 

Part 1: An overview of admission and education in the United States, including a section on financial aid and scholarships.

Part 2: Student life and well-being in the United States - how to cope and build connections. 

Part 3: Career planning and life after college.


Moderator Bio

Wambui Chege

With over 26 years of experience, Wambui Chege is a seasoned advisory service professional with experience in international and private sector development in Sub-Saharan Africa, the US, and Asia. An experienced Board Director, Wambui is currently the Independent Chair of Making Finance Work for Africa, an independent initiative hosted by the African Development Bank, focused on developing African financial sectors. She also serves on the Board of Fairtrade International, Gender-Lens Venture Capital firm, Samata Capital, and the African Venture Philanthropy Association.

Wambui has a Master’s in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University in the City of New York, and a Bachelor of Commerce from Kenyatta University, Kenya. During her time at SIPA, Wambui co-founded SPAN, the SIPA Pan African Network for students of African descent, and served as its first President.

Wambui currently works as an independent consultant focused on agribusiness and financial inclusion. She was previously director of agribusiness at KPMG East Africa, 2014-2019. Before that, she was head of sustainable agribusiness advisory, Sub-Saharan Africa, at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. She has also worked as a commodities and financial markets correspondent with Reuters in Africa. She is the founder of Kara Sidai Botanicals, a premium natural beauty company based in Kenya.

Panelist Bio

David Austell

David B. Austell, Ph.D. is Associate Provost and Director of the International Students and Scholars Office at Columbia University in New York City where he is also an Associate Professor of International Education in Teachers College-Columbia University (adjunct). David has over thirty years of executive leadership experience in International Education, and is a frequent writer and presenter in his professional field. David has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also completed his Ph.D. in Higher Education, focusing on International Education; his doctoral dissertation, The Birds in the Rich Forest, concerned Chinese students in the United States during the Student Democracy Movement. David was a Fulbright Fellow in Japan and Korea in 1992. He is also a poet, and his third book of poetry, The Tin Man regarding the life of St. Joseph of Arimathea, was published by Nirala Press in April 2018.

Whitney Green

Whitney Green is a Senior Associate Director and the Director of International Admissions and Recruitment Initiatives in the Undergraduate Admissions Office at Columbia. She has been in admissions for 11 cycles and has taken on a variety of different roles within her office including athletics, domestic recruitment, STEM engagement and recruitment, strategic partnerships, event management, alumni engagement, and process management.  In the international space, she oversees all strategic recruitment as well as selection and enrollment initiatives for all students applying from outside of the U.S. She has also traveled extensively to over 50 countries engaging with secondary school officials and organizations. She is a proud graduate of Columbia, receiving her Bachelors of Science from Columbia Engineering and her Masters of Arts from Columbia’s Teachers College.

Jennifer Maende

Jennifer Maende is the Education Outreach Coordinator for the US Embassy Nairobi where she fosters mutual understanding and strengthen cultural ties through the promotion of US higher education in Kenya.  

Maria Y. Reynoso

Maria directs the Compliance Team at the Nash Building location. They are responsible for the issuance of student visa documents, totaling more than 5000 just for incoming students for summer and fall term.

Working with the advising team, the compliance team helps students to maintain their status by following the regulations that govern their stay. They are also responsible for university compliance with federal regulations.


Jeff Murichu

Jeff Murichu is the Alumni Engagement Coordinator for EducationUSA at the US Embassy Nairobi. In his role, Jeff offers impartial, current and comprehensive information on US study and guides qualified Kenya students in the application process to US colleges and universities.