All posts by Guest Post

Students Speak: My U.S. Culture Shock

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Thursday, February 5th, 2015 at 8:32 am

From food to fashion to everyday customs many take for granted, Rahela Mohammad Akbar reacts to the shock that comes from living in a different culture. (Note: A version of this article originally appeared on the Afghan Women’s Writing Project website) I have to say I did not know the meaning of “culture shock” before I […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Thanksgiving in the U.S.: Friends, Food, and Freezing Weather

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 at 11:14 am

Student Union writer Gwen Mugodi recently traveled to the US state of Maine for Thanksgiving, which took place on November 27. In this post, she talks about the experience of learning about the US from our holidays, traditions, and food – and seeing snow for the first time!—————————————————————– Thanksgiving is a big holiday in the […]

Students Speak: “International Students in the U.S. – Misconception vs. Reality”

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 9:15 am

This week’s guest student post comes from Lei Wu, an international student studying at the University of Nevada, Reno. Lei looks at some of the popular misconceptions international students – including himself – have about studying in the United States, and how these beliefs can be far from the truth: As a Chinese student, I […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Students Speak: “Becoming a College Football Fan”

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 10:35 am

Students studying in the US can prepare for living in a different country, taking classes, and making new friends. But one thing that’s hard to prepare for is seeing college sports up close. When guest blogger Munyaradzi Mahiya came to the US from Zimbabwe to study at the University of California and Berkeley, he knew […]

Students Speak: “I Wasn’t Ready”

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Worried about the start of school? You’re not alone. Gwen Mugodi was too. A student from Zimbabwe studying at Brown University, Gwen had her own reservations about studying in the US, living up to expectations, and confronting challenges. In our first student-submitted post on the new VOA Student Union blog, Gwen talks about preparing for […]

The Personal Perks of Studying Abroad

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Todays post comes from Maria Torstad. Maria is from Norway, and is in Washington DC for one semester abroad. In this post, she shares her thoughts on what you can achieve while studying abroad, and her own personal experience on this subject.  Studying abroad encompasses loads of perks; you get to develop your language, it […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Pond of Memories

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Today’s post comes to us from Keith Mushonga, a French and English student at Winthrop University. You may remember some of his earlier posts – Keith writes with a great deal of vigor and emotion. Today’s post is on a topic common to all – but I imagine especially among international students: loneliness. It’s a […]

Tags: Posted in Culture Shock

Xiao Describes an Unusual Encounter on the Streets of New York

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Friday, August 23rd, 2013 at 11:19 am

Cai Xiao is a Chinese student who came to the U.S. this summer with the goal of visiting several universities. She is hoping to do her graduate education in the States and says she saw the trip as a way to “get a better understanding” of her options and “to be responsible for my future.” […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Mirrah Explains Why Fasting During Ramadan is Harder in the US

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Friday, August 16th, 2013 at 10:01 am

Mirrah is starting a master’s degree in bioengineering this fall at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. But before she begins her studies, she had to conquer another challenge – her first Ramadan and Eid-al Fitr in the U.S. She wrote to us to “share my story about how I fasted and how I celebrated.” […]

Inachu Describes Why Culture Shock is a Good Thing

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Last week Phileas described how international students sometimes isolate themselves, even from other international students. But Inachu wrote in to say that there’s so much to be learned from other students while in the U.S., including from the other international students. Here’s why Inachu says culture shock, and going out of your comfort zone, is […]

Posted in Culture Shock

Ayad Describes His First Impressions of America: ‘People Here Are Very Supportive’

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Thursday, August 1st, 2013 at 9:41 am

Ayad wrote in to share this account of his first few days in the States: It’s been a couple of days since I touched down here in America and I am just surprised and happy to see the kindness of people here and their will to help me as foreigner. Honestly people here are very […]

Tags: Posted in Uncategorized

Do You Agree With Phileas’ Description of How International Students Isolate Themselves?

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

We’ve discussed many times the fact that it’s not always easy for international students and Americans to become friends. It can be comforting to seek out friends from your own country or background while in a foreign place, and Americans often don’t realize that they need to make more effort to help international classmates feel […]

Tags: Posted in Uncategorized

A Hard Pill to Swallow: Why Your Parents Don’t Want You to Go to the US

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Monday, July 29th, 2013 at 1:53 pm

It was Phillip who sparked the idea. “Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what our parents think of this journey?” he said. After all, they’re a huge part of our journey, watching us and hopefully supporting us from afar. Do they spend that time worrying about us? Fretting over how we’ve changed? Telling their friends about all our […]

Posted in After Graduation

Why Chinese Students Don’t Need an English Name

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Names can be a tricky thing for an international student. We’ve had some fun exploring how names that are unfamiliar to Americans can be mispronounced and mangled, and we’ve discussed how many international students attempt to preempt this by choosing an English name. Hậu became Nick, Tiantiac chose Tara. When Chinese student Jialing Huang started […]

Getting the Edge as an International Applicant to Medical School

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 at 10:25 am

Just like every foreign student planning to apply for medical school in the United States, I have heard all the stories deterring us from even considering this option. They’re not just rumors. The admissions office at Yale University says on its webpage: It is extremely difficult for international applicants who are not citizens or permanent […]

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