#YouAreWelcomeHere: 57 US colleges to offer scholarships to international students
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#YouAreWelcomeHere: 57 US colleges to offer scholarships to international students

#YouAreWelcomeHere: 57 US colleges to offer scholarships to international students

What started as a nine-college initiative to encourage international students to study in the US now has 57 American colleges pledging to offer scholarships under the #YouAreWelcomeHere national campaign.

These higher education institutions have committed to offering at least two annual, renewable scholarships covering at least half of tuition costs to international students next fall.

Richard M Englert, who is president of Temple University, the institute leading the initiative that started in May 2018 said:

“This program is a commitment to diversity and a promise to create educational opportunities for students from all cultures and continents. The response to join this nationwide scholarship program has been overwhelming, with institutions affirming their dedication to cultivating a stronger understanding among cultures.”

Institutions that have committed to the initiative range from community colleges to large, public universities located all over the country. The full list of colleges that have pledged to provide scholarships can be found here.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must show international citizenship of a country outside the US and must apply for admissions at one of the 57 participating universities or colleges, before completing a #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship application. For scholarships commencing in fall 2018, the application deadline is Dec 15, 2018. Successful applicants will receive notification by May 2019.

These offers of scholarships are a recent expansion of the social media campaign that began after the 2016 US presidential elections. Its objectives are to show US colleges’ openness to international students and to counter the slew of unwelcoming policies announced by the Trump administration.

Julie Sullivan, president of University of St Thomas, one of the 57 institutions in the initiative, said the program reaffirms the university’s “commitment to global engagement, intercultural learning, and understanding”.

“Not only are these key to St. Thomas’ mission but vital to the future of our world. Tommies come from more than 65 countries, and these scholarships demonstrate how valuable they are to our learning community.

“All of us – students, faculty and staff – benefit from the presence of international students, so we are very proud to offer YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarships next year.”

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Niki Rahmati, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reacts after clearing US customs and immigration. She was originally turned away from a flight to the US following the travel ban. Source: Facebook/康之安坂

Organisations like NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the Institute of International Education (IIE) have expressed their support for the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign.

“The #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship meets an essential challenge in the effort to support international and refugee students, foster intercultural understanding and develop future leaders,” said Allan E Goodman, president of the IIE.

“Refugee students flee conflict zones and cross intercultural divides to continue their higher education. As a higher education community, it is our responsibility to support such great efforts and welcome refugees to safe-haven universities across the US.”

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