|Every year, UMD welcomes about 200 international students. For them. living and studying in the U.S. is an amazing experience.|
Global UMD is a new podcast series for Spring 2015. Follow the episodes on the UMD Homepage. Global UMD presents stories about the diverse voices on the Unviersity of Minnesota Duluth campus.
Narrator Jiaxun Fan: Welcome back to the podcast Global UMD. In the last episode, we told you about UMD’s mentor/mentee program and how this program helps international students with their academic and social life. In the next few minutes, we are going to follow up with stories from our mentors and mentees about what it is like to live in America.
Fan: For international students, everything they see, touch, hear or learn in the U.S. seems to start with a difference, actually a lot of differences.
Chaiwut: Cars. Left hand side driving and right hand side driving is difference.
Jain: You can take credits; you can take courses from different departments, and maybe you want to switch to that department.
Maria: In Colombia, people are like really close together. When you meet someone new, you basically, like, hug them, and like kiss them on the cheek, but when I got here, when you get to know each other, you don’t get to touch sometimes.
Chaiwut: How food court work, like you have to clean up by yourself.
Jain: Grading system over here, and over there (India) we don’t like grades, like, I mean letter grades.
Maria: We went out for dinner. We have friends started tipping, and I was like I don’t even know how much I need to leave, I don’t even know how this works.
Chaiwut: Food here, and the portion. I am not used to the taste, like, I get full very easily. I always cook my own rice.
Sharda: Talk a lot in English in here which you are not used to in India.
Chaiwut: I have a friend, he works like three jobs over the summer, and I am like "why do you do this to yourself?" He said that “I have to pay for school," and I am like “what?”
Fan: Besides all the differences, international students also identify the best parts of their American lives.
Jain: Best part of studying here is that you have that flexibility. At start, I entered engineering and then I found out oh I am not meant for engineering, and I don’t want to do it anymore, but I have an option over here that I can switch to a totally different thing.
Sharda: People are in general warm in here. So you go on the street, you meet someone, you say hi, you greet people. That is not generally the case in India; you don’t greet a stranger, a complete stranger. In here, you can go greet him, talk with him and he does the same to you.
Chaiwut: I have only been here for like three months, and I already feel like I just want to stay here.
Gomez: I am gonna graduate, I am gonna get a job and I am gona marry someone.
Chaiwut: And live my life in America.
Fan: Here, I want to thank for the contributions from our international students: Lisa Chaiwut form Brunei, Maria Gomez from Colombia, Mudit Jain and Nirav Sharda from India. This is podcast Global UMD, and we tell you about the many voices on our campus.
Listen to other episodes of Global UMD:
Podcast and story by Jiaxun Fan, February, 2015.
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