An astute observer will notice that international students seem to be unaware of some University events and resources. If asked about their knowledge, too often they will reply that they weren’t aware of the events or how to participate. This is both a disheartening and disturbing trend.
“An astute observer will notice that international students seem to be unaware of some University events and resources. If asked about their knowledge, too often they will reply that they weren’t aware of the events or how to participate. This is both a disheartening and disturbing trend.
One of the greatest resources that we have at the University is the Department of International Programs. It gives us all a diverse atmosphere as well as a unique opportunity to learn from another culture.
Director of the Department Dr. David Ayers suggested in a conversation that lack of awareness of campus events might depend on the type of student you ask, grad or undergrad, or it may be because of the social atmosphere. If the latter is the case, we have a serious problem.
International students come to the United States for two things: an education and interaction with American culture. That means that we as students of this University may be the only exposure to our culture they get. To hammer this problem of disunity even further, students often comment to Dr. Ayers that Americans are friendly but don’t have time to be friends.
I feel that Americans are a bit selfish when it comes to friends…there is a cultural difference that makes it difficult to make friends, said international junior Brian Moon.
What does that say about us as Americans when we can be friendly and yet do not have time to welcome new people into our lives?
Part of the college experience, probably the most crucial, is the people we meet and the subsequent friendships we forge. It should be our goal and our purpose to extend ourselves to as many others as possible. To be completely frank, we as students are failing at this. How often do you walk through the Student Union and see regular students mingling with international students? More often than not, there is little interaction.
I find it difficult to make friends because of the language difference; some Americans don’t seem to be very patient, said international student Suhyun Park.
To be forward, this should outrage us all! We should have the patience to make new friends and to help them any way we can. This is a critique of our society, of our culture; we are not as perfect as we think we are.
The Department of International Programs is only half the equation; the other is us, the students. It is our job and our responsibility to reach out to our international friends, to make them feel comfortable and to help them understand our culture and activities.
Furthermore, we are representing our culture. Do we want ourselves as a whole to be seen as reclusive and impatient people who aren’t willing to introduce themselves to new people? Or would we rather be seen as accepting, accommodating friends?
Many of the problems in this world could be solved if we would reach to understand each other. We have an opportunity to get to know each other, even influence the way we see each other, but we’re all letting it pass us by.
I dare you to introduce yourself to an international student; dare yourself further to make a new friend.