Showing Archived Posts

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 […]

I Learned to Fend for Myself, and Gained a New Home in Return

by Javaria Khan - Posts (6). Posted Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I excitedly tell my mother about how college really is: How I do my own laundry, get my own food, iron my own clothes and work even when I am not feeling well. How I’ve made new friends and how much like family they feel. How comfortable I’ve become fending for myself in this no-longer-foreign […]

Five Things I Loved About You, Sophomore Year

by Javaria Khan - Posts (6). Posted Thursday, April 18th, 2013 at 11:49 am

There is only a month of my sophomore year left. And oh boy, didn’t it go by fast? It honestly feels like just yesterday that I came back from Pakistan to start a new year here at Mount Holyoke. And now, I am already a “rising junior,” all set to empty my present dorm room […]

The US in Words #7: YOLO (Finding a Better Version of Myself)

by Paula - Posts (11). Posted Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 at 10:54 am

The seventh in a series looking at U.S. life and culture through its idioms.  View previous entries. YOLO = You only live once A friend who I had met at a hostel in Philadelphia recommended I get a tattoo with the inscription “YOLO,” which stands for “You Only Live Once.” I hadn’t heard the phrase […]

Top Posts of 2012 #4: The Surprising Links Between Food and Identity

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Saturday, December 29th, 2012 at 11:24 am

In the few days before 2012 ends and 2013 begins, we’ll be looking back at some of our top posts from the past year, starting with number five and counting down to number one. If you missed these articles the first time around, now’s your time to see why we’ve found these particular pieces so […]

Learning to be Thai

by Yu - Posts (3). Posted Thursday, November 15th, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I still remember a conversation I had with my high school friends one day, when I told them that I wanted to study in the U.S.: “I don’t think I’d ever go there,” said one of my friends. “It seems too liberal and dangerous.” I also remember another moment, when I was at a store […]

‘Who Are You?’ What it Means to be an Afghan Among Americans

by Abuzar Royesh - Posts (5). Posted Thursday, October 18th, 2012 at 11:38 am

“Hey, who are you?” The straightforward question came to me in my first day as a high school student in America. I was about to begin the biography-like chronicle of my life, as I would when I was back in Afghanistan, when it hit me. Who was I, indeed? It was then that I truly […]

Just When I Learn the Answers, They Change the Questions: A Zimbabwean’s Journey

by Senzeni - Posts (12). Posted Monday, July 30th, 2012 at 10:29 am

I smile wryly as I go through my freshman photos. It is hard to believe that just 2 years ago, I arrived in the United States, fresh-faced and starry eyed; weighed down by suitcases, expectations and an overwhelming fear of the unknown. In my head, as well as in my diary and journal, was a clear […]

What Does it Mean to ‘Be American’ as a Chinese Student?

by Qian - Posts (7). Posted Thursday, October 13th, 2011 at 9:05 am

I’m Chinese, but kinda American. Since August 16, 2008, the day I arrived in the United States, I have been asked thousands of times, “Where are you from?” For most Chinese students studying abroad, the automatic answer would be, “Yea, China of course!” However, for some, it is not as simple as the nationality presented […]

Finding Your Identity in the US: What’s in a Name?

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 10:33 am

You know that feeling you get when someone doesn’t remember your name? That mix of embarrassment, hurt pride and annoyance as you repeat your name again, and again…and again?  It’s all too common for an international student in the U.S., as your name is likely to trip up most Americans. Last week we had a […]

A Shifting Identity in Photos: Jihye’s Story

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Thursday, February 24th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Meet Jihye Choi – journalism student, VOA intern, and photographer extraordinaire.  She has recently come to Washington, D.C. from Bucheon, South Korea and has been sharing her journey with us in photos.  Here are some of her most recent pictures and stories (which she’s written in English AND Korean!): Hello Everyone! 🙂 It’s really nice […]

On Cultures and Sub-Cultures in America

by Nareg Seferian - Posts (16). Posted Thursday, January 6th, 2011 at 10:56 am

If there is one word that I think gives some sense on what things are like in the United States, it is “diversity.” America has the wide range of racial, ethnic and religious diversity that it’s known for, but there are also a wide variety of lifestyles and opinions in this country. These also form […]

A Personal Take on “Americanization”

by Hau Hoang - Posts (6). Posted Monday, October 25th, 2010 at 10:46 am

Setting down my heavy, chock-full plate, I took off my jacket and sat down next to Chen, my friend from China. As usual, she was enjoying a wok dish of fried noodles with chicken and vegetables. I watched as she turned to look at my plate and, in a mocking tone, uttered her latest discovery: […]

The Student Union is…

A place to hear stories about studying in the U.S. Our bloggers have come from all over the world to U.S. universities, and they'll be sharing their experiences, advice and more.

Learn more about this blog »

Share your own story!
Tell us about your experiences applying to the US, studying in America, or doing an exchange, and we may include it on the blog.


Glossary of Confusing Words

Find definitions of confusing words and terms about studying in the U.S. in our Glossary of Confusing Words.

All the words were submitted by YOU, so visit the glossary to see the words that have been defined already and to suggest your own.