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Getting an Education at the US Military Academy at West Point

Graduates of West Point become army officers, but not always in the United States Army. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

This week, in our series for students who want to study in the United States, we tell about the United States Military Academy at West Point.

West Point is a four-year school in New York State that educates future Army officers. The students are called cadets. They do not have to pay for their educations. But they must agree to serve on active duty in the Army for at least five years after they graduate.

A young man or woman must be nominated to the academy, usually by a federal or state lawmaker. Nominees also must satisfy the entrance requirements. These include being in excellent physical condition and getting good grades in high school.

About four thousand American cadets are at West Point this year. In addition, fifty-nine cadets from foreign countries are attending.

These international students are nominated by their home governments. They also must satisfy the physical and educational requirements. And they must do well on the TOEFL, the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

Home governments may have to pay up to sixty thousand dollars a year for each student they send to West Point. Among the countries with cadets at the academy this year are Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia.

Each year, the United States Defense Department invites countries to nominate students to West Point and to the Navy and Air Force academies. This year, one hundred fifty-nine countries were asked to nominate students for the next school year. Not all countries take part in the program.

We spoke to Major Robert Romans, chief of the international affairs division at West Point, and Major Michael McBride, head of the international cadet program. They say up to sixty foreign cadets at any one time can attend the academy. And they say that interested students must seek information about the program at their local American Embassy. The embassy's Defense Cooperation Office will know how the student can be nominated.

The West Point Web site provides some information about the international cadet program and its requirements. The address is admissions.u-s-m-a.e-d-u.

Our Foreign Student Series continues next week. Scripts are available on the Internet at

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. I'm Steve Ember.