Sunday, April 21, 2024

An Interesting Exchange Program

You are doubtless aware of student exchange programs that give foreigners a chance to live in America for a while.  I have watched several exchange students react to America and it has been interesting.  So this 4/31/24 Fox News article intrigued me:
"Shattering stereotypes with every swap, a groundbreaking exchange program is offering kids from red and blue states a free ticket to explore the diverse landscapes of America, and challenge any misconceptions they might have about places far from home.

"It's kind of hard to say no to a free trip, but I had this obsession with just seeing everywhere I can, especially parts of the country. It's amazing to see, especially the Midwest," Z.J. Schwartz, a program alum from California, told "Fox & Friends Weekend." 

"The American Exchange Program gives high school seniors from places like New York City and Los Angeles a taste of rural America and vice versa, dispelling misconceptions about the different ways of life and opening minds to new opportunities – all to bridge gaps within the divided nation."

This seems like a big win all the way around.  As I was growing up, I was startled at how many Angelenos had never been eàst of Yosemite.  Yes, the results were very much like the View of the world from Ninth Avenue cartoon.

Shortly after I moved to Boise to work for HP, a friend in California lost his job.  I called to tell him there were jobs open at HP.  "Boise?" I had to reassure him that we had flush toilets, no one I knew married their sister, and it had been a long time since we burned any Jews or heretics at the stake.


  1. Not to dispute you, but isn't Yosemite just a bit west of Los Angeles? I have known people here who have never been out of the state, and never east of Palm Springs.

    1. I just looked at a map, and yes it is! But most people say California and assume otherwise.

  2. When I was young my city bred cousins came "down to the farm" most summers and got a feel for it. Always thought that was something missing nowadays . They got to see where their food came from and got their hands dirty - and we generally learned something in return.