US: Departments, varsities join forces in celebrating International Student Week

The organisers of the event are also hosting a campaign called "You Are Welcome Here" to promote inclusivity of international students. Source: Shutterstock

Colleges and universities across the United States are celebrating the benefits of international education and exchange this week.

Throughout the International Student Week, the varsities are holding events and programmes “that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences.”

According to the Voice of America, the celebration is a joint initiative between the US Department of State and the US Department of Education.

Working with the colleges and universities nationwide, the Department of Education will be hosting events like the International Fall Gala at the American University in Washington. The events would highlight the food, music and celebrations of cultures worldwide.

The celebration also includes a social-media campaign called #20Questions, which encourages American and international students to engage in dialogues on topics from food to culture to education. It’s also a platform for students to showcase themselves and their cultures.

During the special week, students from around the world will also be able to identify and choose US universities where they intend to study. Globally, the State Department’s Bureau of Culture and Education offices will host events that help connect prospective students with colleges and universities in the US.

The organisers of the event are also hosting a campaign called “You Are Welcome Here” to promote inclusivity of international students, an effort taken to allay concerns on proposals to restrict travel for immigrants, including students from Muslim-majority countries.

A survey conducted by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, the Institute of International Education, NAFSA and the National Association for College Admission Counseling, found nearly “40 percent of US colleges are seeing declines in applications from international students,” although the proposed restrictions were struck down by US courts.

“More than three-quarters of institutions responding to the survey — 77 percent — are concerned about yield, that is, how many applicants accept an admissions offer and enrol,” the Association of Collegiate Registrars statement included in the survey, said.

The State Department throughout November will also hold events at local passport offices across the US to explain to the public what a passport can do for them and how to apply as part of a bid to expand global diversity in the classroom, among others.

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