Get to know the student and not just their country
Many people run into issues of getting excited to get to know about a country. When you learn a friend is from a different country, the first tendency is to ask about their home culture and country. “Is India really like Slum Dog Millionaire?” “Does everyone in Japan really do the peace sign when they take photos?” And so on.
The important thing is when you meet a student, you need to still be interested in getting to know them. “Tell me about your favorite meal back home.” “How many siblings do you have?” And so on.
These types of questions will help you learn about their culture and homeland but in the way that it appears to them – rather than comparing and contrasting to pre-conceived notions and stereotypes. Remember – people from other cultures also have similar thoughts about your homeland!