Absolutely, #YouAreWelcomeHere


I have been a witness to this statement for the past 5 years at Iowa State University.

I remember coming as a clueless 17-year-old prospective international student from Venezuela. It is inevitable to ask ourselves: “am I going to be welcome here?” I asked that at my international orientation, as I met my first friends, my roommate. The answer came almost immediately: “Yes, you are.”

Iowa State celebrates diversity, embraces cultures and encourages our right to express our differences. As an international student at Iowa State, I have felt nothing but welcome by everyone I have met at this institution. On the other hand, nowadays, it is inevitable to – even for just a second – doubt our stance.

This is why Iowa State University wants to reiterate: #YouAreWelcomeHere. You are welcome here to become the best version of yourself, you are welcome here to leave your mark, you are welcome here to express yourself. Regardless of background, there is and will always be a place for everyone at Iowa State. As there has been a place for me from the moment I set foot on this campus.

I have been able to make my mark by participating in different organizations, such as Iowa State Dance Marathon, ISU AfterDark, the Society of International Engineers – to fulfill my aspiration to make a difference, minor or major, in other people’s lives. I have been able to help provide my insight by working for Admissions as a Cyclone Life Blogger – arguably the best job on campus. I have been able to serve as an international liaison as an International Student Ambassador and working for the International Students and Scholars Office. I have been able to make unique, valuable connections with people of all kinds backgrounds with all kinds of goals that have inspired me in my personal growth. And, finally, academically, I have been able to successfully present myself as a capable engineer in different classes, projects, and to employers with this inclusive mentality.

To cut it short, I have been welcomed to be a part of the opportunities I have wanted or needed to take in order to become the best version of myself. More importantly, whenever I needed it, I have been able to receive the help from Iowa State to remind me that: “absolutely, I am welcome here.”

As stated previously, Iowa State University values diversity and welcomes students from all backgrounds. As a crucial reminder, the Office of Admissions is filming a video in support for prospective international students, like I was all those years ago. There is a place for you at Iowa State, and know that there always will. This is such an important message and a core value Iowa State is especially proud of, so we, as ISU students, need to help spread that message. I, as an international student, wholeheartedly appreciate all the support Iowa State has given me.

“Where is this being held?” Filming will be tomorrow, Tuesday, March 28, 1:30-2:30 pm on Central Campus, and 3-4 pm at Elings Hall.
“How do I know I am in the right place?” Look for the set of cardinal and gold balloons pictured below in the respective locations.
“What should I bring?” Your welcoming attitude and friends!
“Who is welcome?” Everyone.

Show your support by being a voice for Iowa State to reaffirm that, absolutely, #YouAreWelcomeHere.

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