Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Imagine leaving the comfort of home and family to fly 5,000 miles away to a completely new place and culture. You get off the plane and are greeted by a stranger who drives you to the new university and drops you off. You find yourself all alone on this new campus and town. You slowly find your way around and navigate the slight language barrier of those who speak English so fluently. You are far away from home, family, and friends. It is scary and lonely but you are in America to get your education that you have dreamed about.
Who are you? One of 1,094,782 international students who come to America to study. Place yourself in their shoes. How wold you be feeling right now? What would be going through your mind? How would you want those around you to respond and treat you?
The international student population has increased to a record high for the 12th straight year in a row. There are students from all parts of the world walking around next to you on campus from every imaginable background. Do not ignore or overlook these students! Take the time to introduce yourself and be friendly. Offer to help the student with any questions or navigate the campus or town. Ask questions to learn about their family, culture, faith, likes, dislikes, etc. In return share about your family, American culture, idioms, your faith, etc.
We have been told that a very common complaint of students who come to America to study and return back home is they never had the opportunity to be in an American home. Many of these young people really want to discover Americans and what life is all about here. Take the time to invest into these students to make them feel at home while they are so far away from home.
How should you treat these students? The same way you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes?