For students coming to the USA: Picture books about your country and city, cookbook with photos-in English if possible, photo postcards of your town, touristy gifts (bring lots of keychains and magnets) with your country’s name on them, anything with your country’s flag.
Examples: Chile:small copper boxes, bookmarks, and plaques. Bolivia: Andean textiles, clay figurines. Brasil: Havaianas, Argentina: leather, dulce de leche, Netherlands-small windmills, Delft, wooden shoes, France: silk scarves, fashion-y items, Italy-murano glass, Costa Rica-coffee beans, Germany-small cuckoo clock, beer stein, India-brass, Japan-fans
For students leaving the USA: Nothing with the country name or flag. Make your gifts state, county, or city specific-don’t bring “USA” themed items. Photo books, picture cookbook with measuring cups for liquids and solids. If you take scented candles or body products, make certain they are made in the states! Pretty much anything Ralph Lauren. Memory sticks. Canvas tote bags. Weird US candy-like kids’ sour candy and gum. Hot sauce, chocolates, peanut butter, maple syrup, beef jerky, Jelly Bellys, pancake mix. Christmas ornaments. Zippos. Cool, useful, ‘only in Amurrica’ gifts like silicone potholders and baking , ShakeNBake,pans. Take packets of mixes for ranch dressing, sloppy joes, tacos, meat loaf, gravy, and chili. Leather man pocket tool, and American magazines-Newsweek, People, Vogue, InStyle, Men’s Health. Small children enjoy Barbie and toys that tie in to current movies and TV shows. Car adaptor for MP3/Ipod. Small travel size bottles of US designer colognes-Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren. I have 2 fridge magnets that are great international gifts-one has a brownie recipe on it, and the other is a cooking measurement converter. ETA: quality playing cards, poker chips, quarters from your home state.
Bonus points if the gift is state specific-Zippos/PA, Victoria’s Secret/OH, Salmon/AK, Maple Syrup/VT, Ghirardelli/CA, Hershey’s/PA, Mars/NV, Smucker’s peanut butter/OH, Turquoise/NM, Jack Daniels’/KY :) Starbuck’s/WA, Old Bay seasoning/MD, Tabasco/LA, Fiesta ware/WV.
I think most countries have Jello, Heinz ketchup, and jelly/jams. Check with your specific country, they may adore items from college and pro football teams or Nascar. Do NOT take any plant seeds.
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