A photo of one of our students next to a sign with text in three languages, Spanish, English and Arabic. The English part says "No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor"

I am really amazed to see how both multiculturalism and pluralism are a social norm in the United States, particularly in Amherst and Northampton.

The warmth and the welcome I experienced upon my arrival in these two places in the state of Massachusetts go beyond my expectations and stereotypes.

I did expect to meet people from different religious and cultural backgrounds. I did expect some sort of communication and cultural exchange to take place. I did expect appropriate work place behavior.

Yet, all these are being manifested at different levels with a high degree of cultural understanding, tolerance and strong humane relationships.

When I first arrived at Northampton, a welcome sign which is placed in different places in the neighborhood offered salutation, acceptance and hospitality.

Then, I was immediately able to experience those in my host’s house. I was received by my host, Diana Larkin, with open arms without any demands or compromises. I really enjoy my stay in her house and we both enjoy talking about our cultural differences.

My visit to Smith college Museum was very beneficial thanks to Diana, who is an art historian with a special interest in the art of ancient Egypt. She is also a retired professor from Mount Holyoke College and a consultant to museums.

Find out more about our English course for international students, the Intensive English Program