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International Students Celebrated Across US

FILE - Miaofan Chen, left, works her way through the dessert choices along with Thandi Glick during a potluck meal for Chinese exchange students and their host families in Denver, Jan. 27, 2017.

The benefits of international education and exchange worldwide are being celebrated this week at colleges and universities across the United States.

The week-long events of International Student Week are a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. The events promote programs “that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences,” according to a news release.

The U.S. Department of Education, with colleges and universities nationwide, will host events like the International Fall Gala at American University in Washington, which highlights the food, music and celebrations of cultures worldwide.

The initiative includes #20Questions, a social-media campaign to engage Americans with international students by suggesting questions on a range of topics from food to culture to education. Students can showcase themselves and their individual, cultural stories.

International Education Week also helps students from around the world identify and choose U.S. universities. Global events at the State Department’s Bureau of Culture and Education offices worldwide, specifically the frontline Education: USA offices that help international students connect with colleges and universities in the United States.

The celebration features the “You Are Welcome Here” campaign used by colleges and universities to promote inclusivity of international students at U.S. institutions. The video was created by Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, last winter after travel restrictions were proposed for immigrants — including students — from Muslim-majority countries.

The proposed restrictions were struck down by U.S. courts, but “nearly 40 percent of U.S. colleges are seeing declines in applications from international students,” according to a survey conducted by American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, the Institute of International Education, NAFSA (Association of International Educators), the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and International ACAC.

“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 enroll,” according to an Association of Collegiate Registrars statement included in the survey.

Throughout November, the State Department will also hold events at local passport offices across the nation to explain to the public what a passport can do for them and how to apply. This event couples with the government’s effort to expand global diversity in the classroom for the benefit of international students and American citizens.

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