I’m currently on a cultural exchange trip with students from my university visiting a woman’s college in the United States. Over our arrival weekend as students from our host campus tooks us around the city.
The conversation between my students was fascinating.
"Everyone in America is so nice," they were saying, after a five hour layover in Dulles airport and a trip to the North Carolina state fair.
During a presentation during a Middle East history class at the state university in Raleigh, I could see the wheels turning all around the classroom as the American students took in the perfect English, confident poses, and professionally constructed Powerpoint presented by my students.
It was news to them that other people had negative stereotypes of Americans.
"Like what?" a female student wanted to know during the Q and A.
Her surprise and question is a reminder of how important exchanges like this are, for both sides.