For Immediate Release

Contact: NAFSA Media Relations, [email protected]

Washington, D.C., March 16, 2021 – NAFSA is pleased to announce eight exemplary U.S. universities and colleges as recipients of the 2021 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. Named after the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois, the NAFSA Simon Awards recognize outstanding innovation and accomplishment in campus internationalization in two categories.

First, the “Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization” distinguishes overall excellence in integrating international education throughout all facets of university and college campuses. The 2021 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization recipients are:

  • Davidson-Davie Community College – Thomasville, North Carolina
  • Florida International University – Miami, Florida
  • Lehigh University – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Santa Fe College – Gainesville, Florida
  • The University of Texas at Austin – Austin, Texas

Next, the “Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award” recognizes a specific program or initiative that contributes to internationalization on campus. The 2021 Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award recipients are:

  • Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana
    • Global Gateway for Teachers program
  • Miami Dade College – Miami, Florida
    • Educate Tomorrow Abroad program
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington – Wilmington, North Carolina
    • First-Year Spring Admit (FYSA) in the UK program

“At NAFSA we believe that international education lies at the core of an interconnected world characterized by diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and well-being for all,” said Esther D. Brimmer, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO. “We are thrilled to honor the achievements of these eight institutions who have demonstrated their commitment to internationalization and providing rich global learning experiences for diverse populations of students and their communities.”

A strong advocate for international education and cross-cultural learning, the late Senator Paul Simon is also the namesake of the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act. Introduced in nearly every Congress since 2006 with bipartisan support, the Simon bill aims to incentivize U.S. higher education institutions through competitive grants to increase the number and diversity of students who complete a study abroad experience prior to graduation and make study abroad an integral part of higher education.

Institutions selected for the Simon Awards will be featured in NAFSA's report, Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, to be published this fall, and honored during International Education Week in November. To learn more about NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Awards, visit


Sample Tweet: Congratulations to the 2021 NAFSA #SimonAward winners. Thank you for your great work internationalizing U.S. campuses and strengthening global ties. @DavidsonDavieCC @FIU @LehighU @SantaFeCollege @UTAustin @IUBloomington @MDCollege @UNCWilmington. More at

About NAFSA: Serving more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit Resources to guide our members on these issues can be found at