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Viral campaign #YouAreWelcomeHere unveils international scholarship program

THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2018 - 10:30 AM All News

Western New England University, along with eight colleges and universities, leads the way

Western New England University, together with Temple University, leader of the widespread #YouAreWelcomeHere social media campaign to encourage international students to study in the United States, and seven other U.S. college and university partners, today launched a national scholarship program for incoming international students for fall 2019.

This new scholarship 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. The scholarship is an outgrowth of a coordinated effort among hundreds of U.S. institutions of higher education. The campaign is designed to affirm that American colleges and universities are welcoming, diverse, friendly, safe, and committed to student development.

"Western New England University is proud to have been part of this important campaign from the beginning," says Bryan J. Gross, vice president for enrollment management. "We look forward to ensuring that this new scholarship program is able to make a true difference in the lives of those who receive it."

Participating colleges and universities will offer an annual, renewable scholarship that covers a minimum of 50 percent of recipients’ tuition. The other partners include Concordia College (Minnesota), Eastern Michigan University, James Madison University (Virginia), University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Purdue University Northwest (Indiana), Seattle University, and Shoreline Community College (Washington).

"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," stated 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.

 

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, Western New England University and 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 youarewelcomehereusa.org.

For information regarding Western New England University's commitment, visit our International Admissions scholarship page.