If you’re an international student in the United States of America, you must have gone through some of the situations that I have been through. As an international student, I was thrilled at the possibility to come to the United States to study and was more thrilled to form part of the Warriors community at Lycoming College. My integration to Lycoming College was not difficult. We arrived one week before classes begin and we have the opportunity to attend an orientation session to better acclimate us to the school environment. Moreover, because of the small community here, we get to know many people who make Lycoming our second home. The college is always making sure that international students feel at home and have a good college experience. However, there are some moments that only international students can relate to.
Do you remember the day when you come to your first class for the first semester with great zeal and then find yourself feeling sleepy as the lecture starts? Maybe yes and this might have happened a couple of times! Jet-lag is a situation which all international students face, and happen to overcome after some weeks!
2. Use your home language slang in the middle of a conversation
If your native language is not English, there are times that you accidentally use your home language slang during conversations and your American friends stare at you. Or at times, when you meet someone from your country on campus, you switch to your home language and your American friend is stuck between you two trying to figure out if he hears his name.
3. Scrolling down the newsfeed and see your friends posting photos of their lunch while it’s midnight here
Admittedly, every international student misses home food and I am not different! I miss the spices, the hot curries and the street food of Mauritius. And I miss them most when I see my friends posting photos of their lunch or dinner.
4. Converting the cost of every item to your local currency
It’s something that I actually do every time I go to the supermarket and if you’re an international student you must have at least done that once or twice. Depending on where you come from, you must have then felt really rich or extremely poor.
5. Ask information from people and end up not understanding anything
Remember that time when you approached someone for a piece of information or a direction and ended up not understanding anything even though that person tried his best to help you? I do. I can still recall how the college’s security officer explained to me three times where the residential life office is but in vain! He had to lead me to the office.
6. Waiting hours for our parents to wake up so that we can call them
The time difference usually makes it difficult for us to talk to our parents. At times when we are free to talk to them, they are sleeping! And when you are about to go to sleep, your friends send you a message on messenger, wishing you ‘Good Morning” and you spend the whole night chatting with them.
7. Telling people where you come from and explaining to them where your country is
Well, this is a situation I face almost every day since I come from a small island about which almost nobody has ever heard of. I feel that I need to walk with the world map in my pocket with Mauritius circled in red.
8. Fearing that any action could lead to deportation
International students think twice before doing anything. There is always the constant fear that some carelessness can lead to deportation. Maybe you read the federal laws more often than your American friends!
9. Home sickness
Home sickness is a situation which almost all international students face! There is a time when you want to give up everything and only want to be with your family! But then you remember the purpose for which you are here and work even harder to make them proud!
These are some of the moments you may have experienced or will experience as an international student. However, the struggle we face does not only make our college life more unique but also make us stronger as individuals. If you are a prospective international student and want to know about how Lycoming ensures the integration of international students, contact me! Or, click below for more information.