International Students: Differences Between Two Continents

Amita Manandhar
The Paw Print

International is a word that is so foreign, yet we are always eager to learn about anything or anyone associated with this word. As humans we are always curious to learn about new culture, new people and new places. Some of us learn by reading, some learn by watching and some learn by experiencing.
That is exactly what many of us international students come here to do; experience the foreign culture, and also to gain a better education. However, things are not always bright and sunny after we set our foot in the foreign land. From the pain of being away from home and family, to getting adjusted to the new environment, everything becomes a challenge for us. Most of international students who come from Nepal also have to deal with culture shock. As an international student I went through all of these phases of being in a foreign land.
When I first planned to come to United States, I was curious to learn about what the people were like and what the education system was like. My knowledge about America was limited to what I saw in the movies and magazines. When I finally arrived here the picture was different from what I had imagined, or, to be precise, what had been shown in the media.
I noticed that not all parts of America have public transportation systems. If you wanted to get around or even go to the store you needed to have a car, while in Nepal you can find a store at an arms distance. People rarely own a car because there is an abundance of public transportation.
In our country children stay with their parents forever, and old people rarely work after they are 60. Over here children live by themselves once they are 18, and people work till they are in their 70s. All of the elderly people are so independent and live by themselves.  When I first saw this trend I was shocked because in our country we wouldn’t even think about leaving our grandparents or children to live by themselves.
Another thing that is vastly different between Nepal and USA is that people over here follow the law and are always committed to keeping their communities clean. While in our country no one cares about keeping the community clean and green, not even the government. No one follows the traffic rules, or any kind of rules. People throw their garbage wherever they want, and the garbage will not be collected for weeks. Coming from a place where people rarely cared about the community, I was shocked to see people doing so much for their communities.
People here think differently than we do, but despite everything they are always welcoming. I still have a hard time getting used to this place. Everything from the living style to the eating style is so different here. However, after living here for a while I have come to know that people here are always eager to learn about new cultures, and they are always nice to the incoming international students.
Being an international student is not easy, but our lives become much easier when we are treated as a friend and family by the college and the community.

One response to “International Students: Differences Between Two Continents”

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