Being an international student can be hard. You have the usual nonsense of long flights, leaving home, studying abroad, visas and other frustrating documents. But let’s be honest – you have been prepared for all this (somewhat). What you haven’t been prepared for, however, are the smaller (but nonetheless important) things: American lingo, no metric system, weird spellings. And believe me, these can all be a lot harder to handle.
This post catalogues some of my experiences as an international student that you might (or might not) relate to. Either way, I hope you’ll be left amused.
1. (Not so) fun CS projects.
Before coming to Brown, I though taking a CS course might be fun. I was wrong. CS15 did not involve fun. It involved struggles. It involved long TA lines. It involved relocating from my dorm to the CIT. One particular assignment, namely Litebrite, involved a fair amount of frustration. I remember how for the longest time, my code for this project simply refused to compile. I spent ages – hours, days – (it felt like years) – trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Frustration levels peaked when I realised my ‘error’ was spelling “colour” with a “u”, when it had been spelt without a ‘u’ in the support code.
Side note: CS15 was dropped soon after. (On the bright side, I did earn practically 10 hours of my time back. Per day.)
2. Awkward Conversations Ft. American Lingo:
i) Scenes at Best-Buy:
Me: “Hi, I’m looking for a torch.”
Me: “A torch.”
*exchange continues for a good 30 seconds*
Salesman: “Ohhh, you mean a flashlight…”