Photo credit/ flickr :nicekstamp

As first year international students, we are often asked some pretty strange questions.  In order to get to know some of the class of 2020’s international students, we asked them to tell us about their experiences during their first semester being away from home.  Check out what they had to say!

Photo Credit:  Rachel Ashton Lim ’20 and Victoria Flores Najas ‘20


“People always assume Ethiopia doesn’t have its own language, but we have Amharic, and it has 245 letters in the alphabet.” – Abel Leulseged ’20, Ethiopia


“Istanbul is a city of two continents, where you can hear the evening prayer and LGBTQ protests at the same time. It has all sorts of people, places and cultures. So when people ask me what it’s like, I really have no short answer.” – Nezihe Atun ’20, Turkey


“Pablo Escobar killed twice as many people as in 9/11 in a conflict that has ended, and people celebrate him because of a show on Netflix. Recently, Colombia had a vote on a peace treaty trying to end what has become Latin America’s longest war.”  – Laura Michelsen ’20, Colombia


“I’m from Ireland, so no one ever understands what I’m saying.” – Jack McGeehan ’20, Ireland


“We have a very diverse, casual drinking culture. One of our national past times is to go the Han river, drink beer, eat chicken and talk about life – and it’s not only teenagers, you’ll see grandparents and children, too.” – Gayle Lee ’20, South Korea


“The thing I miss most about my country is bread. Each city has its own type of the bread, completely different from each other. The bread differs in shapes sizes and ingredients it is prepared of. In the South, the bread is thick and round, while in the North, it is oval and thin.” – Timur Adizov ’20, Uzbekistan


”I wish we celebrated Songkran here. My friends and I would fill a bucket with ice and when it melted, we would throw it on people for the funniest reactions. At night, people would be dancing on top of cars, in their swim suits, and the streets would be full of lights and music. – Tanya Kotecha ’20, Thailand


“Saudi Arabia is 84 years old and it is under the rule of a royal family, not a democracy. People think the Saudis are supposed to be dark but I’m fairer than most people are.” – Bandar AlKabbani ’20, Saudi Arabia


“I miss Pakistani comfort food – from kebab with rice, to the unhealthy street food, it all has just the right of spice, lemon, and salt, that is unique to Pakistan.” – Laleh Ahmad ’20, Pakistan


“I miss watching “Wuxia” martial arts shows with my father. It features themes like mountains and rivers, and good and evil, representing an unworldly, free world called “Jianghu”. The Chinese are sometimes viewed as reserved and restricted, but our culture creates “Jianghu” for us in which we exercise all of our ambitions and wishes. It’s the feeling you get when you’re facing the Grand Canyon alone.” – Siyi Chen ’20, China


“I’m from Chile. It’s so skinny that our geographical coordinate system basically has only North and South. Cultures and colors vary along it, but are united under a resilient spirit and a love for empanadas, football, music and wine.” – Alejandro Salvador ’20, Chile