16 Unexpected Things International Students Face

international exchange student

Here on the TakeLessons Blog, we’ve explored the best cities to visit in Spain, taken a foodie tour of Korea, and even learned about fun festivals like Germany’s Oktoberfest.

But what about the unique experiences international exchange students have when they come here to the US? You might be surprised to hear the things that baffle everyone else.

Curious? We were too, so when we came across an article over on the StudentUniverse blog sharing these revelations from an international exchange student, we knew we had to pass it along.

Here’s an excerpt:

  • Food portions are the size of Titanic, no kidding. When you order your first meal at a Cheesecake Factory, you will feel like you have been missing out on all the meals you ate before that point. While portion sizes are big, the economical thing to do is get what you cannot finish ‘to go’ and eat it the next day. Trust me, on a college budget, every dollar will start to matter.
  • You thought you were a football or cricket fan? Wait till you see American obsession with sports! The biggest fans in the US are of the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), and college football/basketball. Yes, get used to all the sports abbreviations and yes, college sports are a BIG deal.
  • If you are a wanderlust, good news! Students travel for less. Americans work hard and enjoy every long weekend during the year! Except weekends, there are many short holidays during the year, such as Memorial Day weekend (May), Labor Day weekend (September), Columbus Day weekend (October), and Thanksgiving break (November). Start planning your trips early and you can get some amazing deals! Student-specific travel sites like StudentUniverse are here to help you save money traveling as a student. So why spend breaks bored on campus when you can see the world?
  • Your accent will definitely be noticed. Whether you have a stereotypical accent of the country where you’re from or whether you manage to sound just like any other American, people will notice your accent and comment on it!
  • These boots are made for walking. Depending on which country you’re from, get used to toning those calf muscles because you will surely be walking a lot.
  • Not every city is like New York and Chicago. It’s such a stereotype to think every city in the US is the American dream city of New York. To your surprise, if you’re at a campus university, you are likely to be in the suburb of a city!

Continue reading the article here!

Are you an international exchange student? What have you found most surprising?

Photo by Jirka Matousek

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