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NAFSA to lead #YAWH social media campaign

#YouAreWelcomeHere, the social media campaign spreading a welcoming message for international students in the US, will now be managed by NAFSA, the association announced during its annual conference.

The NAFSA 2019 conference took place in Washington DC in May. Photo: The PIE News

A #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship program for international students was also launched last year at the NAFSA conference

Since the campaign’s creation in 2016, NAFSA has supported efforts to share its message and encouraged higher education institutions and members of Congress to use the hashtag.

In its new role as leader of the campaign, as of 1 June 2019, NAFSA has committed to amplifying the message that international students and scholars are welcome in the US, and is encouraging more institutions to join the campaign.

“I can think of no better destination for #YAWH than a permanent home at NAFSA”

“This remarkable grassroots campaign has spread the important message that international students and scholars are welcome here,” NAFSA executive director and CEO Esther D. Brimmer said.

“NAFSA is proud to accept the administration of this nationwide movement that is profoundly consistent with the association’s values.”

Originally used in a 2016 video campaign produced by Study Group, the #YouAreWelcomeHere hashtag was developed into a campaign by Temple University under the leadership of the institution’s then director of international admissions Jessica Sandberg and has gathered support from over 350 higher education institutions, 70 organisations and 20 secondary schools.

“The goodwill generated by #YAWH has been the highlight of my career and I am grateful that I was able to play a role in giving this campaign its start at Temple University,” Sandberg said in a statement.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to watch it evolve from a tiny grassroots project to the unofficial global slogan of U.S. higher education. This little idea has made quite a journey and I can think of no better destination for #YAWH than a permanent home at NAFSA.

“Under NAFSA’s leadership, the future of the campaign and its important role in communicating the value of US higher education across the globe is assured.”

A #YouAreWelcomeHere scholarship program for international students was also launched last year at the NAFSA conference, and by September 2018 it had already been joined by 50 institutions.

NAFSA will now also help steer the coordination of the scholarship program, which is set to award the first recipients for the Autumn 2019 intake. A total of 57 institutions have pledged to offer scholarships to international undergraduate students.

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