Philadelphia is a great global destination for international students pursuing higher education, offering access to innovation, opportunity, culture, diversity, affordability and more.
With this shared vision, nine area universities (Arcadia, Community College of Philadelphia, Drexel, Jefferson, Penn, Rutgers-Camden, Temple, Villanova and Widener) collaborated this summer with three globally minded non-profits (Study PA, International House Philadelphia, and Campus Philly) to create a series of digital displays in all Philadelphia International Airport terminals. The displays premier in July 2023 and run for two months.
“This summer, as soon as international students step off the plane in Philadelphia, we want them to feel welcomed, armed with all the info they need on arrival to prepare them for success,” said Emilia Zankina, vice provost of Global Engagement at Temple University and one of the leaders of a new, overarching campaign that started in Spring ’23 to promote Philadelphia as a Global Higher Education Hub. The displays are the first step to making Philadelphia’s Global Higher Ed Hub a reality.
The idea of welcoming students at the airport began with Study PA, a consortium of Pennsylvania colleges and universities. According to Bill Keyes, board member of Study PA and program director for International House Philadelphia, Study PA had been talking about creating a presence at the Philadelphia airport since mid-2022. Working for International House, an organization dedicated to supporting Philadelphia’s international student body, made Keyes the perfect point person for this initiative.
“International students throughout Pennsylvania often begin their journey at Philadelphia International Airport,” said Keyes.
Consensus snowballed after Temple hosted the first meeting this past spring of the larger group interested in promoting Philadelphia as a Global Higher Ed Hub. Independently, the meetings’ participants, 14 Philadelphia-area colleges and universities and 19 non-profits, suggested a similar idea.
Shortly after the meeting, Keyes approached Zankina and the project took flight with the help of Rogelio Minana, vice provost for Global Engagement, Drexel; Jen Kebea, president, Campus Philly; and Robin Bloom, content manager, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Visible in all the terminals, the impact of the new displays will extend beyond international students in the Philadelphia area and be seen by domestic travelers as well. Not only will the displays’ QR code connect to landing pages with arrival info for each institution, but those pages will also provide info for potential applicants and for anyone who wants to know more about the individual universities and non-profits.
“We are a city of firsts, and this is our first effort as a subset of our larger group promoting Philadelphia as a Global Higher Education Hub. Along with easing the start of school for new international students, we want the world to know that Philadelphia is a winning choice for international students,” said Minana.
This fall, expanding this promotion of Philadelphia as a Global Higher Education Hub, student groups in a Temple University Advertising capstone class, taught by Klein Professor for Instruction, Stacey Harpster, will compete to produce branding for the overall campaign, benefitting all Philadelphia universities and globally minded non-profits alike.
Clearly, the digital displays are just the beginning of promoting Philadelphia as a Global Higher Education Hub.
By Lisa Z. Meritz, Director of Marketing & Communications, Global Engagement
Above Photo: A still from one of the five video displays provided courtesy of International House Philadelphia