Through the Looking Glass

CAC and Foreign Students

Rebecca Christensen, Cactus Writer

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Paging through the old, yellowing editions of the Cactus that are squirreled away in the SPC library, it’s easy to see that the Cactus has quite a long history at CAC. Reading the old editions is an interesting experience. Some articles could fit quite easily into our current Cactus, while some would baffle readers with how much society’s changed. This time, however, an article about foreign exchange students caught my eye.
In some ways, the concept of foreign exchange students seems like a very modern idea. In reality though, CAC has a long history with hosting foreign exchange students. The first such article I stumbled upon was “Foreign Students Parallel Life Styles” by Helen Childers. In the article, Ms. Childers interviews two young women, and one young man from Iran and Thailand, respectively. For reference, this article was published in October of 1972.

While society and culture have shifted dramatically since the article was written, the interview could have blended into a current edition of the Cactus with little ado. Childers’ interview of the CAC students closely mirrored Monique Irish’s 2014 article, “Foreign Exchange Students”.
Both Cactus writers asked the exchange students many of the same questions in their interviews. What did they think of America? What were some differences between America and their homeland? What are they majoring in? Do they prefer America or their Homeland? Despite being forty years apart, students from both articles all remarked that the CAC community was welcoming and friendly to them.
The foreign exchange program is a wonderful way to experience different cultures, and benefits not only the exchange student, but the community they transfer to. It’s good to see that CAC has kept the tradition strong over the years.

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