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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 56, Number 11 (March 15, 1955)

Anderson, Don
You can help foreign students understand us,   p. 25


Page 25


DON ANDERSON
       YOU Can Help
       Foreign Students
       Understand US
-says Don Anderson, '25
           Publisher, Wisconsin State Jomrnal
There are many foreign students to be found on the Madison campus,
yes. but in most other sections of the U. S. you'll also find foreign
"exchange" students at both college and high school level. Below
is a typical UW group, which attended an English Language Institute
for Foreign Students: Dumbard Christiane, Nancy, France; Rosemarie
Hill, Giessen, Germany; Mrs. Sarojini Bhatia, Bombay, India; Mar-
gcrete Baum, Hamburg, Germany; Ayebegum Cankardes, Istanbul,
Turkey; Denise Loizillon, Montpelier, France; Prem Pasricha, Delhi,
India.
MARCH, 1955
H    OW   CAN Wisconsin alumni make specific contributions
      to international understanding?
      That was my assignment for this article. I'd like to
broaden it and change "Wisconsin alumni" to "Americans",
because I am convinced there is something most Americans,
can do to improve international understanding. At the sam.
time, it can make important friends for America all over the
world.
   It is simple.
   Start getting acquainted with the foreign students in this
 country. Get on a first-name basis as quickly as possible.
 Invite them to your homes, not only for holiday festivities,
 but also to eat Tuesday night dinner or supper, or whatever
 you call it at your house.
   Learn to think of these young people in the same terms
 you think of the children of your American friends. Let them
 see the conditions on which an American household operates.
   Foreign students have been coming here to school for many
 years. Practically every country in the world has many grad-
 uates of American universities.
   Too many of them have gone home with only an academic
 knowledge of America. Too many have been here three or
 four years and never have been inside an American home.
 Too many have taken the busyness and preoccupation of Amer-
 icans for a snub.
    Many of these students are the leaders in their countries
 today. The ones studying here now will be the leaders ten
 or twenty years from now.
    See why I think it's important to send them home as well
 informed as possible about our country?
    I have been abroad three times in the last six years. In late
 October I returned from a flight around the world, and my
 first glimpse of the Orient.
    Always I have taken with me a reporter's curiosity about
  foreigners' opinions about America and Americans. I was con-
  cerned, not so much what they thought of us, but how and
  why they formed their opinions. Too many times I have dis-
  covered an adverse view of America was based on neglect.
    These foreign students come to our Universities and col-
  leges just as our American students do-young and lonesome.
  Unless they have some church affiliation, or have fellow coun-
  trymen for friends, they are likely to lead a lonesome exist-
  ence. Most of them are serious students, not the gay extroverts
  that our high schools pour onto the campus. They study hard,
  graduate, and go back to their homeland without much expo-
  sure to the American way of life.
    Several years ago in Germany I met a young man who had
  done a year of graduate work at a midwestern university. His
  chief regret was that he had returned to Germany without
  ever once having had a glimpse of one of our fabulous Amer-
  ican kitchens. He had read the advertisements about our dish
  washers and garbage disposals, but when his mother wanted
  ,a detailed report on just how they' worked, he had to tell
  her he never had seen one.
     This past September I had a delightful few hours with
  a Turk who was graduated from Wisconsin in 1938. Today
  he is an important business man in Istanbul. When I asked
  him wx'ho his friends were in Madison while he was in school,
  he admitted he had been too busy' and too poor to make many
  friends. He paid high tribute to Prof. Ed Witte as both friend
  and teacher. He said his room mate was a fine chap, and that
  he often visited his farm home near Eagle, Wisconsin.
     "But", he said "my best friend in Madison was a Greek
   restaurant owner on State street named 'George'. He showed
                    (Continued on Page 33)
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