If you’re a future freshman at college, you can’t wait till the leaves change into a beautiful crimson. For international students, our whole life is going to change soon or changed when we left. A new country, new people, a new place so far away from home. I know this might not soothe the weary beat in your heart whenever someone mentions home, but I do hope this makes you smile and appreciate who you are even more. These are the 20 signs you’re an international student. So, grab that American cheddar and sit back and enjoy.
1. Mental math is your best friend
Whether you’re up at three in the morning and rush to the 24-hour café for a quick pick me up or you’re at dinner with your closest buddies, the second you’re handed the bill, you multiply and divide numbers to figure out how much that non-fat soy latte’s going to cost you in your currency. It’s probably more than you can afford but all that math tired you out anyways so you could care less.
2. Meeting someone from your home country feels like a bonfire on a winter night
Although you love your classmates and the diversity is amazing, meeting someone from your hometown couldn’t bring you more joy. The “Do you know that?” and the “Do you remember this?” could go on all night if you two got together. The satisfaction of someone understanding your native language in a foreign country always makes your heart tingle. The day just seems to get a little better and you just want to get some stir fry with them at 17th Avenue.
3. Somebody call Ellen because your memory skills are phenomenal
You’ve lost count of how many numbers you have, and those pesky tiny little SIMs have a way to ruin your whole mood when you’re traveling. Keeping track of all your important documents and phone numbers and things to buy for all of your relatives back at home, if you don’t want to tear your hair out, you can survive the apocalypse.
4. “Really? That’s what your country’s like?”
Can I get an amen for every time every international student has heard this from anyone, ever? No one seems to know how your country is and eventually, you’ve given up trying to explain it to them. You sometimes hear things you could never believe could actually happen in your country. The wildest assumptions don’t even make you upset anymore, you laugh it out and walk away. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
5. To color or not to colour?
The need to have a difference between the British way to spell and the American way to spell will always be lost on you. You end up mixing both the forms together and just wing your way through it, hoping the professor doesn’t notice.
6. Home is where the food is.
After weeks or even months of surviving without a hot home cooked meal from your home country, makes you want to cry inside. So, when you do get your first bite out of something that is somewhat similar to what your mother made on a cold Sunday afternoon, college doesn’t seem that bad. Whether it’s you attempting and failing at copying your mother’s recipe in the common kitchen or a traditional restaurant you found after hours of hunting, life does seem to get better once you’ve taken the first bite.
7. “Wow, you speak great English!”
The facial expression most people have when you open your mouth and speak is priceless. No, we do not have the stereotypical accent that most American tv show’s perceive us to have. Yes, it’s insulting if you think we did.
8. Time zones are not a mystery anymore.
Most people would stumble for a minute trying to figure out the time in another country or whip out their phone, but not you. You know those time zones memorized for a few countries like the back of your hand, maybe even better.
9. Teaching your friends different languages brightens up a boring week.
Making your friend say something really silly or stupid in your language, but tell them an innocent meaning of it, is classic but makes you laugh every time. People could be so gullible sometimes.
10. Jet lag at the beginning of every term is normal.
Most of us have that long haul flight back home and back to campus. We usually can’t wait to reach home or meet our friends back at school, but the time zones ruin the mood the first week.
11. You’ve explained why you choose the states for college so many times you have a speech at the back of your head.
Maybe I just really love this place and wanted to get a global perspective at a great college. Is that so bad? Next question, please.
12. You learn new things every day.
You think you know most things you need to know about the states but you’re left stunned every day. Things were so different back home. Ah, well as the saying goes, “The day you don’t learn something, that’s the day you die.”
13. Sometimes sleeping at night is hard knowing your family is thousands of miles away.
As much as this independence is empowering and you’re finding out who you truly are, sometimes you can’t help but remember the soft footsteps of your parents or their smiling faces in the morning. Even if we don’t admit it, all of us have shed a few tears. Well, at least you get pampered when you go back home after every semester.
14. That mini heart attack when you think you lost your passport and I-20.
We international students would rather lose ourselves than the documents that got us here in the first place. I-20? Check. Passport? Check. If we can’t find it the first time we look, our whole life flashes in front of our lines. Anything is better than those lines at the embassy.
15. You secretly want to trick or treat for Halloween rather than go to a college party.
Most of us have only heard about Halloween, but never celebrated it. Even though Trick or tTeating is just supposed to be for kids, you can’t help but look at the kids with their superman capes with envy and rather have candy handed to you by strangers than sit here playing ‘Truth’ all night.
16. Bringing back presents for your friends and family at home is a necessity.
Last minute shopping for the cousin you forgot to bring a present the last time you went home is a norm. You usually have to get a friend to sit on your luggage before you zip it shut since it’s overflowing with gifts for some people you don’t even know but your mother asked you to. Ah, The things we do for family.
17. The International Student and Scholar Services are your best friend.
Being an international student is super confusing, even if you think you’ve got it, there are still a million questions you have.
18. Multiple messaging apps blow your phone up all the time.
Whether your aunt wants to send you that thoughtful good morning message or your cousin wants another XBOX game when you get back home, you need to have all of the messaging apps possible to keep up to date with the latest family and friend gossip. Whatsapp, Kik, Line, Skype, everything.
19. Converting Fahrenheit to Celsius is a headache at first.
We all freaked out the first time when your classmate casually mentioned it’s like 100 degrees outside. Oh, he meant a 100 degrees Fahrenheit, phew.
20. Last but not least, America is like your second home.
It’s providing us with brilliant education. amazing friends and unforgettable experiences, all the hassle is worth it. Even if you’re far from home, spending nights talking to your friends and eating junk food helps to temporarily fill the hole in your heart.
Are you an international student who can totally relate!? Share in the comments below!
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own!
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