By Pat Jenkins
Twenty college students from south Asia spent a day in Eatonville June 27 to learn about life in a small American town.
During their visit, the delegation from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Nepal met for more than an hour in the town’s Visitor Center with representatives of The Dispatch and John Bratholm, president of the Eatonville Chamber of Commerce, to learn about community journailsm and local culture. They also met separately with Mayor Mike Schaub for a discussion about local government.
In addition, the students ate in restaurants, took a wallking tour of parts of the town, and described life in their countries to Eatonville community members.
The students asked about local government, politics and journailsm and compared what they learned with those elements in their own nations.
The students’ visit was arranged through Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS). The non-profit organization is based at the University of Washington in Seattle and works with international students and U.S. communities to foster cross-cultural understanding, said Tom Lang, education programs coordinator.
This summer, FIUTS is hosting the Asian students for four weeks through a U.S. State Department program called Study of U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders, with a focus on journalism and new media.
The students arrived in Seattle June 22 and will stay until July 20. They will be exploring new-media trends and American journalism at the local, regional and national levels, Lang said.
Before visiting Eatonville, they started the day with a meeting with editors of the Seattle Times.