Supporting Afghan Students as They Transition to UNT

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I am writing today to ask for your help. Many of you may have been following the news from Afghanistan and the evacuation of so many to the United States. UNT has invited five Afghan students to our campus to continue their education. You can learn about their journey in this article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, “I Am Hopeful, and I Am Heartbroken.”

As a university, we know the value of an education. At a time when women’s education is being suspended in Afghanistan, I am so proud that UNT will be able to support these students by providing scholarships to join our Intensive English Language Program. After their first year, they will join our academic programs. 

These students will be welcomed into our Mean Green Family in a few short weeks, and I invite you to join me in helping to make their transition a little easier. These women arrived in the United States with their phones and the clothes on their bodies. They have significant financial and material needs. 

There are several ways that you can help:

  1. Make a donation to the International Student Emergency Fund, which will be used to support these students’ expenses during their time at UNT. We are hopeful that we will be successful in raising funds to cover the full cost of their UNT degrees as well as necessities ranging from books to housing to transportation.
  2. Help our students with immediate needs, including everyday items such as feminine hygiene products and toiletries, or donate gift cards for Uber/Lyft, grocery stores, or other commonly needed goods/services. Items can be dropped off at the Dean of Students office (Union Suite 409) or at our Food Pantry Presented by Kroger during curbside pickup hours. To deliver your items to the Food Pantry, go to the dock behind Crumley Hall; under the large green awning, follow the ramp up to the door that says “Diamond Eagles Student Resource Center.” Any extra items will be provided to other students in need.

I have already heard from many of you who are eager to help. I want to say thank you to those in our community who speak Dari and Farsi who have stepped up to help our students in their early days with translating and navigating UNT and our community. To those providing material assistance, including our Learning Center who is providing school supplies from the School Supply Pantry, the University Libraries who are providing long-term laptop checkout, and Dining Services who is providing meal plans. Our Dean of Students office is working to coordinate home stays for these students and arranging for donations of clothing and bedding from spiritual and community organizations. Additionally, Student Financial Services is identifying grants and other forms of financial assistance. I also am grateful to UNT International and the Women’s and Gender Studies program for their generous offer to help welcome and support these newest members of our community. 

I know our caring campus community will work to empower these students to thrive. I thank you for your support. Please feel free to forward this message to others you believe would be interested in supporting these students.