Saudi Ambassador to the US Adel A. Al-Jubeir hosted a luncheon for Saudi students at the Embassy in Washington today. In remarks, the ambassador wished the students success in their studies. He noted that they are the Kingdom's true ambassadors, and as such urged them to get to know the American people.
There are currently more than 13,000 Saudi students enrolled at campuses across the United States on scholarships sponsored by the Saudi government, as of August 2007. About 20 percent of the students are women, a number is expected to increase to 25 percent.
The students are in the United States as part of a government scholarship program established by King Abdullah in September 2006 as a result of his meeting with President Bush in 2005. As part of the program, the King created 80,0000 scholarships at all levels worldwide for scientific specializations required by the labor market, especially medicine, engineering, computer science, mathematics and physics. Up to 25,000 Saudi students are expected to come to the US for their studies.