Viral international education campaign #YouAreWelcomeHere unveils 2019 national scholarship program
Temple University leads the way with eight partner colleges and universities.
Temple University, leader of the widespread #YouAreWelcomeHere social media campaign to encourage international students to study in the United States, has joined with eight other U.S. colleges and universities—Concordia College (Minnesota), Eastern Michigan University, James Madison University (Virginia), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Purdue University Northwest (Indiana), Seattle University (Washington), Shoreline Community College (Washington) and Western New England University (Massachusetts)—to launch a national scholarship program for incoming international students for fall 2019.
This new scholarship program will provide financial support for incoming international students who are committed to furthering the #YouAreWelcomeHere message through intercultural exchange that bridges divides at their future campuses and beyond.
“We are proud to be leading the next step of the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign and supporting international students who are dedicated to breaking down intercultural barriers,” Temple University President Richard M. Englert said. “These students have the potential to strengthen understanding between cultures, not only at Temple but also in the U.S. and across the world.”
Participating colleges and universities will offer an annual, renewable scholarship that covers a minimum of 50 percent of recipients’ tuition.
“The #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign has built new bridges of goodwill between U.S. higher education and students worldwide,” said Jessica Sandberg, Temple University’s director of international admissions and campaign spokesperson. “This scholarship is our way of meeting students halfway across that bridge. It advances the campaign through meaningful action, adding concrete support for international students to our already well-received message and providing those students with a way to expand the conversation.”
Sandberg and representatives from other participating institutions will present more details of this new initiative to international education colleagues at the annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference in Philadelphia at 3 p.m., Tuesday, May 29.
“Especially in the wake of the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from our policy leaders, it’s vital that U.S. institutions find ways to make international students and scholars feel welcome and valued on our campuses and in our communities,” said Esther D. Brimmer, executive director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. “We need more programs like this one that encourage international students to choose the United States as their study destination. Investing in international education will ensure our nation remains globally competitive and engaged, and I am heartened to see the U.S. higher education community take a proactive stance in this effort.”
The #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship program has early commitments from several universities, and Sandberg expects that many more will join in the coming months. “We hope other colleges and universities will see the scholarship announcement as a call to action,” Sandberg said, outlining her vision for broad participation among U.S. higher education institutions.
For institutions interested in sponsoring a #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship, visit the campaign website, www.youarewelcomehereusa.org/scholarship, for instructions, a pledge and a sign-up form. The deadline for participation for the 2019 scholarship is Aug. 15, 2018.
About the #YouAreWelcomeHere Campaign
Following expressions of apprehension by some international students about studying in the U.S., in November 2016, Temple University expanded the #YouAreWelcomeHere hashtag into an international campaign to ensure that international students at U.S. universities and colleges feel welcome in the United States. Since then, more than 350 colleges and universities, 60 international education companies and organizations, and 20 high schools have joined. Institutions can follow the campaign on the website that Temple maintains, youarewelcomehereusa.org, which includes a toolkit for promoting the campaign.
In recognition of its leadership efforts, the campaign has received several national awards. In 2017, The Chronicle of Higher Education recognized Temple International Admissions Director Jessica Sandberg on its prestigious 2017 Influence List for her role in developing the campaign. The campaign has also received awards from the ACPA-College Student Educators International and CUPRAP (College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals).