What do American students think about their international classmates? Do they like them, shun them or feel indifferent?
Our bloggers have shared their own experiences making friends in the U.S., and most said that American students are eager to learn about foreign countries and customs. Nareg wrote, for example:
I am happy to say that outright discrimination or prejudice have never been a problem for me. What I have noted most of all is plain ignorance, simply a lack of information on other cultures, religions, and traditions, a gap which I am always more than happy to close when it comes to things pertaining to Armenians.
Jamal wrote, “I found that people wanted to know about Kyrgyzstan’s geography and culture, and in particular, people were curious if Kyrgyz culture is similar to Europe’s, or to the Asian culture instead.”
But while talking to Americans and getting to know each other is easy, forming lasting friendships has proved harder for some of our bloggers. We’ve heard plenty of great stories about American students sharing their Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions with their international student friends, but we’ve also been told that international students tend to hang out with other international students. And both Tara and Qian, who are from China, said that they find certain aspects of American social life offputting. According to Tara:
…the culture differences between Asia and America is bigger than I expected – generally, I do not think people gathering together just to drink is fun, and from my personal perspective, I do have much interest to join the so-called American parties.
So what’s the truth? We need YOU to help us find out.
If you’re a current American or international student at a U.S. university, take (and share!) this short survey about how American students view their international classmates (and how international students think their American classmates view them). It takes less than 5 minutes, we promise, and the more people who take it, the more interesting and useful information we’ll be able to share at the end.