#YouAreWelcomeHere: Making International Students Feel Right at Home

Published: Oct 2, 2017

(Campus walkway with named bricks)

Upon entering the UMBC campus, visitors arriving at the drop-off circle in front of the Administration Building are greeted in a way that’s uniquely UMBC — with bricks saying “Welcome” in dozens of languages from around the world. The greetings are subtle but plentiful, displayed on the grey areas of the brick pavement.

This is but a small example of the many ways that diversity is celebrated on this campus, including the numerous flags of the world on display in The Commons, the variety of culturally-based clubs and organizations, and more. And, UMBC is always finding new ways to welcome international students to our campus, including participation in a nation-wide social media campaign.

The #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign is a message from United States higher education to welcome international students from all around the globe to attend our schools. According to the campaign website, the idea for #YouAreWelcomeHere started in 2016 with this short video from Study Group and some of their university clients:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61YgRD_B6FY]

Temple University soon made their own video with the hashtag #YouAreWelcomeHere and then extended the campaign for U.S. higher education. Today, the campaign is growing with more than 250 institutions participating. UMBC is now one of them.

So, what does #YouAreWelcomeHere look like at UMBC? Since the start of this Fall 2017 semester, the large screen outside the RAC has displayed this #YouAreWelcomeHere image for all entering UMBC to see.


UMBC’s English Language Institute (ELI) has also produced a series of videos featuring welcomes from members of the UMBC community. Check out those videos here.

“I think UMBC is a special place because we really are a community of people from all over the world that come together to work and learn and share our ideas and backgrounds,” says Ryan Sheldon M.A. ’15, ELI Assistant Director. “And this, to me, is why YOU are welcome here and why UMBC is special.”

— Allison Cruz ’18

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