Rent-a-Yanks Push Goodwill Abroad

German schools book young US speakers to combat anti-Americanism
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2007 10:03 AM CDT
Rent-a-Yanks Push Goodwill Abroad
A view on the old city and the Castle of Heidelberg, southwest Germany, photographed on Monday, June 25, 2007. Heidelberg is a German university city.    (Associated Press)

American exchange students in Germany are so bombarded with broadsides against the US government and lifestyle that one university has started a program called "Rent an American." Yanks visit German schools to answer questions about the Bush administration, climate change, and the death penalty, all in an effort to help parry anti-American attitudes.

After sharing photos and similar political ideas students in the program often find their overseas peers beginning to warm to them, even though they clearly have very "strong opinions," said one rent-a-Yank. A German professor believes cultural differences may be behind the shyness: He reminds exchange students that political discussions aren't the "personal attacks" Americans perceive them to be. (More Germany stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.