ICEF launches US Agent Training Course (USATC)

The USATC – the first-ever of its kind and scope – is now available to agents and counsellors around the world.

With more international students than any other country, the US is a key destination for educational agents and counsellors worldwide. To assist these professionals in presenting accurate and knowledgeable information to students hoping to study in the US, ICEF has developed the US Agent Training Course (USATC).

The USATC – launched today – was developed over the course of a year with the input of an international advisory board of key educational bodies, the US government, and agents from around the world. It is designed to spur best practices and to increase the quality of service that agents and counsellors can provide to both students and American education institutions.

Via the USATC, agents and counsellors can increase their knowledge on subjects including (but not limited to):

  • Why the US is the world’s top study destination;
  • The study options and credentials available for all areas and levels of education;
  • The educational pathways, including Intensive English Programmes, designed to help international students achieve success in their studies;
  • The way in which students’ educational credits and applications are assessed and how they will be evaluated in US institutions;
  • Information on student visas as well as the work options they may permit while/after studying;
  • How to best prepare students for living and studying in the US.

Markus Badde, CEO of ICEF, commented: “We created the USATC in the context of our organisational commitment to ensuring that students and education institutions have access to qualified agents who have proven their knowledge of a market, its legal framework, and the educational opportunities it offers students. The USATC will allow agents and counsellors to represent US institutions with confidence and accuracy, and to guide different kinds of students to the study experience that best meets their needs.”

John Deupree, Executive Director of the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC), added: “The ICEF US Agent Training Course (USATC) offers a comprehensive curriculum and assessment for agency staff to verify their knowledge of US education. An understanding of the US market is mandatory for agencies and agents to achieve their goal in providing professional service and counsel to students seeking education in the US and to protect their interests. USATC is an excellent resource to help achieve these goals.”

The online course is available free of charge at Agents who wish to do so, can take the corresponding non-obligatory examination; those who pass attain the status of US Course Graduate (USCG) and are then recognised via an online posting on ICEF’s website as well as on ICEF’s various social media channels.

ICEF is also pleased to announce that two agents, part of a pilot group taking the course, have successfully passed the examination and are now officially recognised as US Course Graduates: Ayman Abdelhafez from the Sindibad Education Consultancy in Saudi Arabia, and Ahmad Al-Dhalaan from the International Student Recruitment Centre agency in Canada.

Mr Abdelhafez commented: “Both new and experienced agents will definitely benefit from the USATC’s comprehensive training. My agency places a lot of importance on training, knowledge, and providing the best service to our students and partners. I am excited about the new opportunities being a US Course Graduate will give me.”

Mr Al-Dhalaan said: “I have taken the US Agent Training Course and found it both informative and enlightening. It is an essential tool for any agent looking into getting into the US market.”

EnglishUSA is an advisory board member of the USATC. Interim Executive Director, Ann Aldrich, said: “We were pleased to be able to provide information about the role of intensive English programmes for the USATC, and we are glad to see the first graduates complete the course.”

Gabriela Zelaya, Global Education Team Leader for the U.S. Commercial Service commented: “I am excited to see more and different types of training and testing offered to increase an understanding of the United States education system for overseas recruitment agencies. A better understanding will pave the way for successful partnerships and increased international student recruitment to the United States.”

The US Agent Training Course is now open to agents, counsellors and professionals working in recruiting international students to the US and is available free of charge at

For more information please contact Korinne Algie or Stan Bobrov at

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