Incoming Central Lakes College students are a sure sign that we’ve made the transition from summer to fall. This year, as in years past, there are a number of international students. They’re eager to learn. They’re far away from their families and friends, but, based on the fact that they are enrolled, they are open to learning. However, they have an opportunity for more than textbook experiences.
That’s where we come into the picture. As the host community for these college students, it might be to our benefit (and theirs) to invite them into our homes. We could share our family customs with them and assist them in learning our culture. Who knows, it might open up a life-long friendship that will bridge distance and time well into the future.
The 2012-13 school year has students from India (Khan Zishan Anwar, Richard Andrews and Chiranjeet Shah); Pakistan (Nasir Hussain, Abdul Qadir and Usman Naeem); and Indonesia (Beatha Saskia Astamarindraputri and Elsa Sasmita).
Some of these students have completed studies at universities in their respective countries. They are, in all likelihood, seeking an understanding of American life right here in the heart of Minnesota. Let’s share our homes, our families, our lifestyles with them, even if it’s for a day, a dinner, a Friday night football game, or an event that is going on in one of our lake communities.
Being a far distance from their homeland and their families can be stressful, not to mention lonely for these young college students.
Let’s be welcoming and show them how hospitable we Americans can be, right here in the heart of America.
It also provides an opportunity to learn about their homeland and their culture. Who knows, it might just be the key that unlocks a lasting friendship with the Brainerd lakes area.