By Zile Ncube – Features Editor
It is said that ”challenges are the tools for bringing one’s inner strengths out”. Being an international student has made me strongly believe in this saying. The first semester of college in the United States is an exciting time for international students,but there are some obstacles that naturally rise in a new country and academic environment.
How would you feel if you were to go to a place which is thousand miles from your home country,only to find out that the people there have a different culture,values and speak a different language? That’s the story of my life and other international students at Hesston college.
In an interview with Ayaka, an international student from Japan, i realized that most students face difficulties in speaking english.She asserted that her expectations in Hesston College are to improve her English skills because she does not fully understand the language and this creates communication barriers with the American students in the school.She also noted that her accent is not like that of the Americans and this is a contributory factor to the disadvantages of being an international students.In addition to that, natives are so fast when speaking,therefore few people can relate to what they say.Even in class,it takes a lot of time for international students to read a book because of their lack of understanding of the english words.
Moreover it becomes hard to make friends in an environment that is not yours.Quite a number of international students struggle to make friends.I am a good example of that.Not having many friends here at Hesston makes me homesick.The reason why i cannot make friends is that most American students have their own circle of friends that they hang around with and making it difficult for me to budge in and create friendship.When i asked Ayaka about making friends here at Hesston, she said ”i have made quite a number of friends but its not enough for me”.This highlights the need for international students to make more American friends but facing challenges to do so.
However,Hesston College provides a variety of means to bring the foreign and American students closer.Campus jobs,mod activities and sports play significant roles in enabling friendships between international and American students.It is therefore encouraged that students partake in those activities in order to distract themselves from homesickness and friendlessness.
In my conclusion,i therefore urge all dear international students to interact with many people and create the most memories out of it.Someone once said ”happy people are busy people”.Remember the journeys we all take may not be paved with the same stone,but it is our strength of character and our willingness to take the helm,even when we lose control so that one day we become great.We are assured that starting at Hesston College will make us go everywhere.