Rather, students at the university are creating customised stickers to share their favourite things about their international student friends.
Peggy Lim, #WeAreInternational projects officer, and former international students officer, created the project as part of the #WeAreInternational campaign, which won a Times Higher Education International Student Strategy award in 2014.
“We’re proud that so many people have read and shared the inspiring, heartfelt stories”
Lim said the project celebrates “the fact that our universities remain diverse and inclusive communities”.
She added that the project “aims to celebrate the global friendships that are showcased in universities across the UK, as well as recognising the contributions international students and staff make to the UK”.
The project substitutes stories from Argentina superstar (and international alumni from Barcelona’s La Masia youth academy) Lionel Messi et al, for those of staff, students and alumni from universities across the UK.
Andrew Twist from the Digital Content team at the University of Sheffield explained that the project showcases real-life experiences of international students, staff and alumni, adding that it “demonstrates how valuable it is to share cultures and knowledge on our campuses”.
He stated that the campaign has helped renew engagement with the @weareintl Twitter account.
“We have seen an over 150% uplift in profile visits and a 400% increase in tweet impressions during the campaign compared to recent months,” Twist said.
“We’re proud that so many people have read and shared the inspiring, heartfelt and occasionally amusing stories of international friendship and collaboration that we’ve been telling.”
The campaign will last for the duration of the World Cup and students can create their own stories here.
“Sport is a great way of uniting people from different walks of life,” Lim explained. “In a similar way, our universities bring together some of the sharpest minds from around the world.”