Showing Archived Posts

Andrew Palczewski

“Study Abroad” Confronts Stereotypes of Foreign Students in US

by Andrew Palczewski - Posts (10). Posted Monday, December 8th, 2014 at 12:02 pm

As we’ve talked about before, studying in the United States can lead to misconceptions – about school, about peers, and about American culture. But the misunderstanding can come from both sides: while foreign students might have unfounded beliefs about the United States, some in the United States have their own misconceptions about foreign students. A […]

Thanksgiving in the US: Friends, Food, and Freezing Weather

by Guest Post - Posts (70). 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: “Becoming a College Football Fan”

by Guest Post - Posts (70). 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 (70). 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 […]

Why Is It Hard To Make Western Friends?

by Doug Bernard - Posts (17). Posted Monday, February 24th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Today’s post comes to us from Jemince, (or in Mandarin ‘如馨 贾’)  from Beijing, China. She was studying English Chinese translation in Beijing International Studies University for her Master’s Degree until she arrived at Binghamton University together several month ago. She’s currently majoring in Comparative Literature and studying law on her own so as to […]

Understanding Other Cultures While Celebrating Your Own

by Doug Bernard - Posts (17). Posted Thursday, November 21st, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Today’s post is another powerful and personal story of cultural differences, and one person’s effort to bridge those differences, without losing your personal and cultural history. Sibusisiwe Mukwakwami is a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley. She’s looking forward to studying either economics or development studies, with a minor in human rights. She’s a […]

Posted in Culture Shock

Pond of Memories

by Guest Post - Posts (70). 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

The American Social Network

by Doug Bernard - Posts (17). Posted Friday, October 18th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

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 […]

On Encountering Racism in College

by Simbarashe - Posts (7). Posted Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Today’s post comes to us from Simbarashe Runyowa, an Oberlin student from Zimbabwe. The topic is a delicate one – racism that Simbarashe encounters here in the U.S., and in his home nation. Throughout, he refers to “the n-word.” For those unfamiliar, there’s a racist slur beginning the the letter “n” used to refer to […]

Tags: , Posted in Culture Shock

Road Runner

by Doug Bernard - Posts (17). Posted Monday, September 30th, 2013 at 9:40 am

Today’s post is from Sisbusisiwe Mukwakwami, a very talented freshman student studying at the University of California Berkeley. Sibusisiwe is from Zimbabwe and last year won a national prize in that country’s Black History essay competition, among other honors. She’s currently exploring several areas of study, including Economics, Literature and Molecular Biology. It’s 6.30 am […]

Can’t Live Without It

by Paula - Posts (11). Posted Thursday, September 26th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Ten silly things I already miss about the U.S. Having lived in a foreign country for almost an entire year leaves a mark in who you are, and as a consequence, there are innumerable experiences that are unforgettable. I miss every person that cared for me, every friend I made, I miss every day of […]

“Imported From China”

by Doug Bernard - Posts (17). Posted Monday, September 16th, 2013 at 11:52 am

“A Mirror of America Through the Lens of Chinese Students” If you want an example of how a growing tide of international students are changing the cultures and climates at American universities, look no further than Michigan State University. Located in the quintessential Midwest college town of East Lansing, MSU sprawls over 5,200 acres and […]

Risks And Rewards

by Doug Bernard - Posts (17). Posted Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 at 11:12 am

Some First Hand Thoughts From A First Time Visitor Doug Bernard | Washington DC In one of her last posts before she left, Jessica shared the story of Cai Xiao, a Chinese student who wanted to attend graduate school in the U.S., but had no idea what the country was like. To help answer that, […]

Posted in Culture Shock

Inachu Describes Why Culture Shock is a Good Thing

by Guest Post - Posts (70). 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

How to Complain Like an American to Get What You Deserve

by Rin Ichino - Posts (3). Posted Thursday, May 30th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Life is not only about nice and cool. We often encounter something that doesn’t work for us, something that needs to be fixed, something that we have to complain about. But the way you address the issue differs according to what you have grown up learning and what you have seen through your walk. Americans […]

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