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THE USA: Latest News

#YouAreWelcomeHere say US universities to international students

US institutions come together to send unified welcoming messages to international students throughout the world in light of the presidential election

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Social media has been flooded recently with uplifting messages of support for international students from universities and colleges across the United States.


The #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign, spearheaded by Temple University, was devised to address concerns of the international student community following anti-migrant themes in some of the US presidential election campaigns. 


Staff and students at 20 US schools have recorded welcoming videos and there are six more reportedly in production. Meanwhile, around 30 institutions and organisations, inlcuding EducationUSA, have shared the messages on social media using the hashtag and the campaign has even gathered support at State level.


A unified welcoming message

“It’s a way for us to let students know that our institutions are diverse, friendly, safe and committed to their development," Jessica Sandberg, Director of International Admissions at Temple University, told Hotcourses Abroad.


“More importantly, we want to demonstrate that this sentiment is shared throughout our campus communities. In the videos, especially, you feel the genuine enthusiasm of the participants and can sense the emotion that went into producing them.


"We greatly value international students in the United States and this campaign was a way for us to communicate that feeling in one collective voice."


Study Group produced the first #YouAreWelcomeHere video and 19 institutions have now followed suit! See the rest of the videos below.


Exceptional international student support

Jessica went on to explain that most US universities offer additional support for their international students, such as immigration advice, academic support for non-native English speakers, social programming, and cultural integration activities.


Temple University, which welcomes over 3,000 international students from 128 countries, goes even further and offers a special housing programme called the Global Living Learning Community in which international students are paired with American roommates to live together and participate in cultural learning projects throughout the year.


“We also have a dedicated Office of International Student Affairs, which helps students acclimate to US university life by pairing new international students with both domestic and international upper classmen (Peer2Peer Program),” said Jessica. “The office also acts as a surrogate family to students experiencing medical emergencies, advocates for students who are struggling, oversees off-campus International Resident Coordinators […] and helps shape international students into leaders.”


Embracing diversity 

Temple University, like many other US institutions, is also grateful for the cultural diversity international students brings to their campuses. "In an economy that is increasingly global, this exposure is equally vital to American students, most of whom do not have the opportunity to study abroad before they graduate," said Jessica. 



Western Michigan University (WMU) has even created its own promotional poster as part of the campaign.


In a statement on the WMU website, Associate Provost, Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Wolfgang Schlör, wrote:


“The US presidential election ended a turbulent campaign in which statements were made that created anxiety for many groups in the United States. As this country moves through its transition, I am writing to assure you that Western Michigan University is committed to being a welcoming and supportive place for everyone. I want to echo President Dunn’s post-election statement and emphasize that all of us in the Haenicke Institute for Global Education and at WMU value the diversity on our campus and the community.”


Take the plunge! 

For those students interested in studying abroad but still have a few concerns, Jessica had the following advice...

"I tell students that the choice to study outside your country is a choice to embrace the unfamiliar. Ask anyone who’s lived abroad and they will tell you that they had great adventures, formed deep friendships, learned valuable lessons about the world, and developed as a scholar and as a person. 


"If pressed, most people will also admit that their experience involved some uncertainty and discomfort. Embracing and overcoming this discomfort is one of the richest benefits of study abroad. It’s how you come to understand your place in the world and the direction you want to chart your course in the future. It’s also a way for nations to conduct people-to-people diplomacy."

So, what are you waiting for? Start searching for the perfect course in the US today!


See the welcome videos from US insitutions

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