27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well


I-94, I-20, F1, J1, OPT, H1B. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHEN WILL IT END?

1. Always being at least a little bit jet-lagged for the first week of classes.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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2. Drinking legally* at home for years, but moving to the U.S. and suddenly being underage.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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*Or at least easily.

3. Finding a friend with whom to go home for Thanksgiving…

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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Or being literally alone on campus, while you scroll through everyone’s family-and-food Instagrams.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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4. Converting everything from American dollars to your home currency, and feeling abysmally poor or dangerously rich, depending on where you’re from.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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I would love an OBJECTIVE idea of how much I should spend on dinner, please.

5. Spelling and pronouncing random words differently than Americans do…

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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WTF is “Uh-LOO-mi-num”? It’s aaa-luh-MINI-yum! COME ON.

And dealing with idiots who insist that your way isn’t just different, it’s wrong.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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6. Figuring out which ID to carry with you when you go out.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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At some point, you’ll find yourself at a club with your passport in your back pocket, certain it’s going to fall out and get you deported.

7. Initially being overwhelmed and shocked by the humongous food-portion sizes…

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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And then, in a few months, being completely able to finish an entire portion AND order dessert.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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8. Having random gaps in your pop culture knowledge, and resorting to the smile-and-nod tactic to pretend you know what’s being talked about.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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Yes, I heard “Ignition (Remix)” for the first time this year. No, I haven’t seen every Mary-Kate and Ashley movie. Who the hell is Cousin Skeeter?

9. Going days without talking to your parents because when they’re up and free to call, you’re not.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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10. The shock of realizing that your version of America was based on TV stereotypes.

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SOME SOLO CUPS ARE BLUE, NOT RED. “CENTRAL PERK” DOESN’T EVEN EXIST.

11. When you accidentally use slang from your home country and everyone looks at you like you’re nuts.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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12. Scouring the entire continental United States for someone who will cook your native cuisine as well as your mom.

Scouring the entire continental United States for someone who will cook your native cuisine as well as your mom.

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And eventually missing home food so much that you find ways to slip it through customs.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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Risking deportation has never been more worth it.

13. Speaking of which: Having a constant fear that every tiny infraction will result in you being deported.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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14. Paperwork. So much damn paperwork.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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Are I-20 and I-94 new Apple products designed to inflict torture on international students?

15. And maniacally scrambling to the international students’ office to get all of it signed in time.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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No matter where you went to school, chances are this building was located literally AS inconveniently as possible.

16. The awkward resentment you feel when people try to tell you they know how you feel.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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OK, OK, OK, everyone’s experience is valid… BUT YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE.

17. Navigating the weirdness of your slowly evolving accent… Especially when your mom calls.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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18. All the hours you’ve wasted standing nervously in airport immigration and security lines.

All the hours you've wasted standing nervously in airport immigration and security lines.

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19. The dread and fear you associate with the letters O, P, and T.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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20. And the fact that so many potential employers seem allergic to the words “visa” and “sponsorship.”

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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21. The brief and horrifying moment when you seriously consider marrying someone for a green card.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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Because god knows it’s easier than getting that work visa.

22. Figuring out what the holidays mean and how you should be responding to them.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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Fourth of July, Columbus Day, Presidents Day, MLK Day, etc., etc., etc. JUST TELL ME WHEN I CAN STAY HOME PLEASE.

23. Your constantly buzzing phone, thanks to WhatsApp, BBM, and Viber…

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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And the fact that your friends across the world are awake when you’re trying to sleep.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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24. Telling people where you’re from and then having to deal with their questions and misconceptions.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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“Why is your English so good? Did you have a computer?”

25. Constantly worrying about reinforcing stereotypes, and feeling a responsibility to break them.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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Relatedly: The horror of realizing you’re someone’s Token Foreign Friend.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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LOVE ME FOR WHO I AM.

26. The fear that at the end of this crazy, beautiful ride, you’ll have to pack up and leave…

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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27. …abandoning this golden land of freedom and opportunity for a future that is completely uncertain.

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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Oh, well! Who knows what adventures wait ahead? Good luck!

27 Struggles Every International Student At An American College Knows Too Well

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Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/regajha/struggles-every-international-student-at-an-american-coll

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