New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) The three violent attacks against Indians in the US are not indicative of the whole country and students should not take them into account while deciding whether or not to apply to US universities, according to a former assistant dean at Stanford University.
"There is no denial that there has been sporadic and random violence against Indians in the US. These incidents were tragic and disturbing but they are not indicative of the country as a whole," Martin Walsh told IANS in an interview while on a visit here.
He said that US is a big country and these incidents have not taken place in cities where the top universities are.
"If I were student in India looking at the US, I would not have let that determine for me applying. I would also really focus on areas where universities have a fairly diverse population or large South-Asian population," he said.
"When I am researching, I would look at universities (to see) if there (is) any record of violence. Universities are very transparent with that. A well-researched college could make the student and parents feel safe," he added.
Walsh is counsellor to one of the top private schools in the US and was in the capital to conduct an interactive session for Indian students aspiring to study in the US. It was organised by leading California-based education technology start-up Stoodnt.com.
Walsh discussed the many factors that international students need to keep in mind to get through to the top US universities.
"At highly selective universities in the United States, numbers are not going to be enough for students. They are really looking for students who have shown an intellectual spark -- be it in the classroom or out of the classroom," Walsh said.
"They want applications that show that by admitting the student to the campus, they are admitting someone special, they are admitting a deep thinker who creates, who researches and follows great passion," he added.
"They are looking for a spark that could be achieved by a lot of different things -- by engagement with the community, inventing an application, etc," he explained.
With President Donald Trump's immigration policies, international students tend to feel apprehensive in applying to US universities.
According to Walsh, "it is a unique political period".
"We are still trying to figure out how it will impact applications. We will have a lot more data on that in the next four weeks," he said.
(Mudita Girotra can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org