Welcoming International Students

International students, scholars, and their families are assets to academic and scientific innovation, public diplomacy, economic vitality, and national security.

  • Yu Takahashi

    Yu Takahashi

    Meet Yu Takahashi. Inspired by the American Mars rover missions, he studied at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Colorado – Boulder to gain the skills necessary to work at NASA. Now, his job is to safely navigate NASA spacecrafts around planets and asteroids.

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  • Mircea Handru

    Mircea Handru

    Meet Mircea Handru. He’s an award-winning soccer player and coach. After earning two degrees from Tiffin University, he made it his mission to improve mental health services in Ohio and established a 24/7 crisis hotline. Now, he’s the executive director of an organization that finds help for those with mental health needs.

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  • Aliena Schmidtke

    Aliena Schmidtke

    Meet Aliena Schmidtke. She’s a professional competitive swimmer for the German national team. She’s also an alumna of The Ohio State University, and she’s currently conducting important medical research on multiple sclerosis and actively volunteering in her Ohio community.

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  • Karen A. Kakou

    Karen A. Kakou

    Meet Karen Kakou. She dreams of leading a Fortune 500 company one day, and she wants other African students to dream big, too. When she was studying at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, she founded an on-campus organization to provide financial and moral support for her fellow African students.

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  • Anna Augustowska

    Anna Augustowska

    Meet Anna Augustowska. Her journalism degree from the University of Arizona gave her the tools she needed to inspire and educate her community through documentary storytelling. One of her documentaries was nominated for a 2015 Rocky Mountain Emmy Award.

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  • Camilo Navarro

    Camilo Navarro

    Meet Camilo Navarro. He used his business degree from the University of California – Berkeley to co-found Wheel the World, an online business designed to help people with disabilities and their families travel the world. He and his 9 employees have booked more than 350 travel experiences.

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  • Jermaine Rodney

    Jermaine Rodney

    Meet Jermaine Rodney. After studying at Western State Colorado University, he founded a thriving business in Colorado and became heavily involved in community work. So far, he’s raised over $20,000 for local and international charities.

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  • Hiyam Afeef

    Hiyam Afeef

    Meet Hiyam Afeef. During her education Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, she forged lasting connections with her U.S. peers, strengthening understanding between the United States and the Maldives. Now, she’s the first female sea-plane captain in Maldivian history.

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  • Joe Bayen

    Joe Bayen

    Meet Joe Bayen. He studied at Santa Monica College and the University of Miami, and now he runs a successful business with a mission to help U.S. college students develop sound financial understanding. He also mentors aspiring entrepreneurs.

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  • Amit Sheth

    Amit Sheth

    Meet Amit Sheth. After studying at The Ohio State University, he became one of the foremost artificial intelligence researchers in the United States. Now, teaches computer science to aspiring U.S. scientists.

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  • Nanshu Lu

    Nanshu Lu

    Meet Nanshu Lu. Recognized as one of 35 Innovators Under 35 by the MIT Technology Review, she used her education from Harvard University to develop cutting-edge medical technology in the United States. Now, she’s a researcher and teaches biomedical engineering to U.S. students at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Infographic: International Students Contribute to Our Economy and American Innovation
View and download an infographic with the latest data and statistics on how international students contribute to our economy and American innovation.

Infographic: U.S. at Risk of Losing the Benefits of Talented International Students
View and download an infographic with the latest data and statistics on how the United States is at risk for losing the benefits of talented international students.

More Resources

valueNAFSA International Student Economic Value Tool
Explore NAFSA's annual state-by-state and congressional district analysis of the economic contributions of international students and their families to the U.S. economy.

Members of Congress Welcome International Students and Scholars
Representative Gerald Connolly (VA-11) led a group of lawmakers in speaking out on the floor of the House of Representatives and submitting statements on the record noting the important contributions of international students and scholars.

Visa and Immigration Policy Reform
Learn more about NAFSA’s stance on visa and immigration policy changes needed to improve America’s ability to attract and retain the world’s best and brightest students.

Issue Brief: The Value of International Students
International students and scholars are great for America.

Contact Us

Please contact us at govrel@nafsa.org.

Take Action

Take Action

Take action for international education and global engagement. Contact your elected officials. Share your story. Join today!