Today’s post comes to us from Jemince, or “Jem” for short. Jem is an English/Chinese translation student from Beijing, and recently arrived at Binghamton University to study comparative literature. If that weren’t enough, she’s also independently studying law in anticipation for her return to China. She describes herself as a sociable person who likes meeting new friends, which is the topic of her post.
I’m a Chinese student studying in the US currently. The discussion about Chinese students’ study and life really reminded me of my housemates and some acquaintance here, and I’d like to share my feelings with you.
I came to the US a month ago, to study in Binghamton University in New York. Since we settled down in a week, I felt something unusual on my housemates who came here together with me. They almost never join any group, club or party even though I was trying to convince them to have fun at the weekends. And the reason they gave me was like “Gosh, don’t you feel it’s dangerous to be in the bars with drunk people?!” But actually the bars are almost packed with only students at weekends!! And when I go to my friends who come from Germany, France and America, they always sort of envious, but at the same time refuse to go with me.
I feel that Chinese students always put themselves in a position that isolated from others. They don’t dare to talk to people who are not Chinese, because they’re ashamed of their English (it’s what they told me.) And they are not actively accepting the changes around them. In the meantime, they often feel inferior in front of others and spend their whole weekends on idling in the house. I think maybe it’s to blame the education in China partially.
While I’m convincing my housemates to go for more social activities, I do feel that American universities also have responsibility to help foreign students, especially Asian students, to fit into the American culture and people’s social network. For example offering chances to Asian students to mingle with local students through more activities, or even to make a courses giving some tips for communicating and making friends in the US.
What do you think? Are students from some countries less socially active than others? Have English language skills ever made you feel slightly embarrassed? And should American schools do more to help international students fit in? Leave us your thoughts and we’ll share them with the Student Union!