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Editor’s note: This story was updated on December 4, 2017.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is part of a nationwide campaign to embrace international students. The marketing and social media effort, #YouAreWelcomeHere, features more than 200 universities and colleges.

Students talking to each other outside

The campaign started in November 2016 as a way to make international students feel welcome and reassure them that U.S. colleges and universities are friendly, safe and committed to international student development.

In UH Mānoa’s video, a diverse group of approximately 50 UH community members from 17 different countries exclaims: “You are welcome here!” It demonstrates the university’s commitment to providing a positive international program experience.

Countries represented in the video include New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, France, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Slovenia, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Thailand, India, Serbia and Latvia.

UH Mānoa has always been a campus that welcomes students from abroad. The cultural and ethnic diversity of the university and the state of Hawaiʻi represents great strengths, particularly in the current climate of heightened tension around immigration and international relations,” said R. Andy Sutton, School of Pacific and Asian Studies dean and assistant vice chancellor for international and exchange programs. “We’re proud to contribute to the national movement ‘YouAreWelcomeHere’ to express to the world that both students and faculty from all around the globe are welcome at UH Mānoa.

The direct economic impact of international students for Hawaiʻi, according to a 2017 survey by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, was an estimated $225.3 million. The other economic benefits, according to the survey, include $484 million added to the state’s total economic output, $32 million in state taxes generated, $192 million in household earnings and 5,093 jobs supported.

As of late August 2017, UH Mānoa had 938 international students, 519 of them graduate students, enrolled with student visas, and hopes to welcome more. 19 of these international students are from the six affected countries listed in the travel ban. For the 2018 spring semester, which begins in January 2018, the graduate division has already received 45 applications from international students, with three of those applications coming from nationals from the six affected countries.

The video was commissioned by the Mānoa International Education Committee and produced by UH Productions.

Visit the campaign website for more information.

As of early December 2017, the graduate division is considering five applications for the 2018 spring semester from nationals of six of the countries affected by the latest travel ban. Those countries are Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad. An offer of admissions to a national of one of these affected countries is also pending.

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