Global students embrace American culture

Interantional students and their transition experience

Clarissa Sison, Staffer

About five months ago, Abbas Dar (12) moved here from Milan, Italy. For Dar, adjusting to the language was difficult on its own, but trying to understand the slang terms that were not in the dictionary was even more difficult.
“The difficult part about adjusting to the language was the slang and all the abbreviations they use when texting, like ‘wbu’ or ‘lmao’… I’ll be like ‘What are you saying?’” Dar mentioned.

When it came to talking to his teachers, Dar was fine, but when it came to communicating with his peers, he had difficulty with not just the slang words but also the abbreviations used in texting.

Dar shared some differences he noticed, and in Italy, the students stay in one class throughout the day, and the teachers are the ones that move from class two class. According to Dar, it helps with hallway traffic, and students can get to know their peers better because they stay in one class the entire day.

During the summer of 2017, Veronica Worth (12) hoped on a plane from Latvia to the United States. Her first impression of the United States was that everything was big, from the size of food servings to the country itself, she felt everything around was enormous.

“The country seemed to be huge to me. It felt like there were so many people around me,” Worth mentioned.

Her country Latvia was the half the size of Illinois, so to her, moving to a country that’s ten times as big as her own was terrifying.
Worth speaks Russian and Latvian. In Latvia, they were taught English at school, but because it was mostly book based. When it came to speaking and communicating, she had a hard time.

“Coming here and learning it [English] in an environment that I live in was harder than I thought,” she mentioned.
It was difficult for her to adapt to a new language, but after two years, she was able to get the hang of speaking a different language and communicating with her friends

Just a few weeks before Christmas, on December 11th, 2018, Joselind Marie Manzano (10) moved from the Philippines to the United States. Her first impression, when she came here, was that it’s extremely cold. Another thing, she noticed was that the culture was very diverse.

“Culture-wise, I felt it was different, very liberated because in the Philippines it’s super conservative, and people easily judge your actions,” Manzano mentioned.

She noticed that here in America, people don’t judge you on your mistakes or actions. She also noticed that the teens in the United States are given more freedom, and in a way, that freedom makes them independent at an early age.

“People here are very independent…I don’t see a lot of kids going to their parents for help or advice. They also drive in high school,” Manzano mentioned.

In the Philippines, usually, people start learning to drive in college and don’t really drive until after they graduate. So seeing students who drove to school at the age of 16 was a surprise for Manzano.