For over twenty years, the International Club has worked at a goal worth achieving. The motivation behind International Club is to maintain close relationships between foreign exchange students and the communities they transfer to. This year’s eleven students hope to promote the timeless awareness and understanding of foreign exchange students and their homeland. By doing so, these students close the gap between the idea of a “foreign” exchange student and a regular member of the community.
On Tuesday, the International Club took the annual field trip to LBJ Ranch in Fredericksburg.
“We went through the tours of the ranch and introduced Texas and American culture to four foreign exchange students,” sophomore Patrick Gibbens said. “We try to integrate these students into society and help them understand the ‘roots’ of American culture.”
Exchange students go through several programs worldwide to come to live in America; currently there are four foreign exchange students on campus. These students hail from Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Chile.
“The International Club goes on these trips to historic sites because the students involved are ambassadors to their countries,” head sponsor of International Club, Ms. Saldana, said. “Foreign countries don’t have access to places in the U.S that are public, and going to a former president’s house is exciting to these students. This is an opportunity for these students to meet ‘real’ people in a more democratic exchange than they get in their own countries. By having good experiences, these students better understand the world outside of their homeland which, majority of the time, has been through turmoil or war.”
The trip to LBJ Ranch let the four exchange students experience the roots of President Johnson and some history behind his presidency.
“Hopefully these trips let exchange students understand that Americans are equal to themselves,” Ms. Saldana said. “The experience eases them into American culture and closes the gap between their ‘norms’ and the U.S’s.”