Americans know little about Pakistan: Students

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Pakistani students who visited the US under an exchange programme and studied in various institutions there said after returning that Americans know very little about Pakistan.

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program for Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan) is a programme of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State.

It provides full-time undergraduate students from Pakistan with the opportunity to enrich their education and experience through one semester of full-time, non-degree academic study in the US.

A discussion session was held in Islamabad Tuesday, in which students who had returned from the US shared their experiences, the Online news agency reported.

They said a few American children asked whether Pakistanis go to school on camels.

“They asked us whether it was true that we beat children in our schools,” said Badr Iftikhar, a member of the team.

Karim Khan, a Pakhtun by ethnicity, said he was asked by some people whether Pathans were descendants of Jews.

A woman student, Anum Masood, however, had a positive opinion about the US.

“I used hijab (veil) there and the Japanese were wearing their own dresses, and we were never discriminated. I think the US is the most open society accommodating all cultures,” she said.

One student put forward an unusual view-point about the US. He said he noted “something very interesting” in the streets of America as compared to Pakistan.

In the streets of America, a driver is bound to let pedestrians go first, he said.

“I was habitual with my experiences in Pakistan, and once stopped when a car appeared in a street there. The driver stopped for me and I was standing to let him go. He stared at me for what I was doing,” the student said.

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