Studying in the U.S.A in the Era of President Trump
The USA has changed significantly since I lived there as a student and an International Educator. I remember when Barack Obama was first elected in 2008. There was joy and hope around his campaign.
Now those times are long gone, replaced by a rigid and closed off Trump administration. This unfriendliness has reached many spheres, including international education.
If you are reading this, it’s probably because you are unsure how Trump and his policies will affect your dreams of studying in the USA. This feeling is understandable, but I’m happy to tell you that many colleges are trying to overcome this situation.
Colleges' response: Taking matters into their own hands
International students are important to American colleges both culturally and economically. Colleges value their presence, so they concentrate their efforts on recruitment campaigns and internationalization strategies to attract more students from all around the word. Thus Trump immigration policies can significantly jeopardize the mission and vision of U.S institution looking to diversify their campuses.
Understandably, many students and parents question the idea of attending an American school, fearful of mistreatment or of having fewer career opportunities after graduation.
Temple University in Philadelphia took matters into their own hands by launching a campaign called #Youarewelcomehere, which has spread to over 100 colleges across the United States .
This campaign aims to change the idea that colleges are no longer safe for international students. Many other organizations, including some American embassies, have joined this effort to encourage students to study in the United States.
The YouAreWelcomeHere website states:
“#YouAreWelcomeHere is a welcome message from U.S. higher education to international students around the world. It is a campaign designed to affirm that our institutions are diverse, friendly, safe and committed to student development.”
The site include videos, posts, pictures, and many other outreach strategies that show what is really happening in campuses all over the United States. In these videos you can see what real students, both international and domestic, really think about having an international student on their campus.
The support an international student receives is tremendous, and I am certain that this will continue, and even grow, so that students feel welcome and safe. If you search #Youarewelcomehere on Facebook, you’ll find many posts by schools and embassies that have joined the campaign.
Can I still go to the U.S.A during Trump's Presidency?
Absolutely! The U.S. is still a great and safe place to study. Keep in mind that one person is not an entire country, nor its people. Most of American colleges welcome and value the presence of students like you.
The #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign is the proof. Don’t be discouraged or fearful; while it is important to be aware of the political situation, the advantages of getting a quality education in the United States outweigh the challenges.