My name is Antoine Precheur. I am a French student athlete who arrived in the United States two years ago. The first thing that struck me when I arrived here is the diversity on campus and on my soccer team. On campus, I realized that there were people from everywhere in the world. While most of the international students were from India, many came from the Middle East, Asia, or even Europe. In addition to the diversity on campus, I was impressed by the diversity of the soccer team. My team is composed of 10 Americans and 13 members from nine different countries (Venezuela, Brazil, Columbia, Nigeria, Spain, Italy, Hungary, France, and Germany).

While diversity is beneficial, it can get complicated. Indeed, it is crucial to be open-minded in this kind of environment. Sometimes, a joke you make can be misinterpreted by somebody from a different country, or a gesture you make to be polite can be seen as rude. There are also very different manners to greet each other. For example, in France, our way to greet a girl is to kiss her on the cheek. In the United States, it would be considered inappropriate. When I arrived here, I did not know that, so I tried to kiss a girl on the cheek and embarrassed her! This situation could happen to many people from different origins and cultures.

Kansas City is a deeply diverse city. I experienced that on campus and in my soccer team. Because of this, it is important to be open-minded about how international people behave and act. Being open to different points of view enriches our understanding of the world around us and helps us to better relate to our fellow citizens.

Antoine Precheur is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Finance and Entrepreneurship.