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You are welcome here

Whoever you are, wherever you're from, the Portland State University community wants you to know: you are welcome here.

That message not only reflects PSU’s attitude toward our diverse and international student body, it’s also a part of a national movement that now encompasses more than 170 colleges and universities throughout the United States. 

The movement started at Temple University in 2016 following expressions of apprehension by some international students about studying in this country. Portland State, with more than 1,900 students from 90 countries is a proud participant.

The Trump administration travel ban affecting predominantly Muslim countries – which has since been blocked – has created a chilling effect throughout American colleges. A March 16 New York Times article highlighting PSU stated that nearly 40 percent of colleges are reporting overall declines in applications from international students. 

Even countries not included in the travel ban are staying away. PSU President Wim Wiewel says applicants to PSU from India are down 25 percent from a year ago. Wiewel witnessed the shift in attitude firsthand in a recent recruitment trip to India.

“We are concerned that these factors will divert the flow of incredibly talented people from U.S. universities and companies to other places, such as Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia,” he says.

Current international students who have questions about their visa status or other issues are encouraged to check with International Student Services, or call the department at 503-725-4094. 

The Multicultural Student Center also has resources for international students. Students experiencing discrimination should contact the Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion at 503-725-5919. If it involves another student, please contact the Dean of Student Life at 503-725-4422. In cases of threats or harassment, contact the Campus Public Safety Office at 503-725-4404 for emergencies, 503-725-4407 for non-emergencies.

Photo on home page: Vietnamese students (from left) Nguyen Thi and Thu Thuong Vu.