ISS is the examination test centre for entry into US universities | 12 July 2019
Seychellois and foreigners in Seychelles who aspire to enter into universities in the United States of America (USA) can do their entry exams here now that a test centre has been set up through the International School Seychelles (ISS).
The announcement was made with great pleasure by Dr Iqbal Maherally, the education USA advisor based in Mauritius, in a press conference at ISS yesterday afternoon.
He noted that it is a major requirement by the US government, regardless of the nationality, for foreign students, including American students, to take the Scholastic Attitude Test (SAT) and the graduate record examination (GRE) as entrance examinations based on academic subjects so as to gain entry into any US university.
Present were the political and economic assistant in the US consul in Seychelles, Marie Annette Ernesta and the acting principal of ISS, Terrence Françoise.
The ISS was approved as the official SAT and GRE test centre by the Education Testing Service (ETS) and the College Board, two big testing companies in the US, following close working and training partnership.
Mr Françoise has been approved as the supervisor of the test centre.
Dr Maherally said it has been two to three years since the US embassy in Mauritius have been working to have a test centre opened in Seychelles and he was happy it has become a reality.
He noted his presence in Seychelles is to provide training to ISS staff who will be conducting the tests and also to finalise some administrative and paper work in relation to regulations from ETS and College Board before the all clear and specific dates be announced for the functioning of the centre.
Dr Maherally though said if all goes well students will be able to register for the first test that has been primarily set for October 5, 2019.
“If someone wants to go the United States to attend any university for a Bachelor’s degree for instance, they have to take the SAT exam and if they want to go to attend a US university for a Masters or PHD degree then they need to take the GRE exam,” Dr Maherally said.
Mr Maherally further said that Seychellois students had in the past not been able to take the test here and if they had really wanted to go to the United States to study they had to travel to Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates to do their tests as they were the closest countries with certified test centres.
He noted that as going to these countries comes with a cost, having the test centre here will alleviate the cost burden except for the examination fees.
“We don’t want Seychellois students to bear the cost of going to do the test outside and then come back for the visa which is an additional cost,” said Dr Maherally, noting that a lot of Seychellois students are showing interest to study in the US in addition to those who have gone through the actual process and are now studying in the US.
Dr Maherally said that all universities have process of applications and at the embassy students are provided with a list of resources on how to search for universities especially if they are looking for universities that offer financial support.
Through the USA Education advising programme Dr Meherally will be in the country from time to time to meet students one on one or in groups and students can also work with him via phones or electronic platforms for guidance.
Adding on to that Ms Ernesta noted that the American government does not offer scholarships as compared to many other countries where Seychellois get scholarships via bilateral agreements.
She noted that students aspiring to study in the US have to seek out for themselves which university is offering scholarships to foreign students, those giving financial help, partial payment or possibility to work, among others.
For his part, Mr Françoise said with the training the staff have received, ISS is ready to take on the challenge to facilitate students on their study journey to the US.