International Students Explained

Admit it, the population of international students in SCC is pretty big. Even as an international student myself, I should admit that in the beginning, I didn’t expect that the number would be that big.

You will most likely hear different languages spoken in the PUB, at the bus stop, in the library and even in restrooms. Yes, people, we are literally everywhere, and it is almost impossible to go through a school day without seeing one international student — me, for example.

To complete the existence of international students in this land called Shoreline, there are some stereotypes following us, the “aliens.”

I decided to interview some international students about what stereotypes they’ve ever received. Here are the top five stereotypes:

1. International students are freakin’ rich

I understand why people assume that international students are extraordinarily rich; in fact, international students’ tuition fee is two or three times more expensive than the domestic students’ tuition, and some of us are seen in campus driving nice cars or wearing luxury clothing items. Or, in my case, though I do not have a nice car or luxury clothing items, people were looking at me with a loud gasp after they found out that my two older siblings were studying in America, too.

Let me clarify this — not all international students are rich. Most of us come from middle-class families. Here’s the thing — some countries have lower living expenses compared to the United States, and this allows our parents to save extra money so that they can send their kids to ‘Murica. In addition to that, our parents work really hard so that their children can study here in the U.S. and get the education we need. Kudos to our parents for all the sacrifices!

P.S. If I had tons of money, I might wear a Gucci Signature leather backpack, but nope. A $1,950 backpack is just too ridiculous for my wallet. I’ll rock my Vans backpack instead, which is not even $30.

2. International students only want to talk to other international students

This is the complicated one because, in fact, I should admit that I have only seen international students talking to domestic students a few times, and I might actually do the same thing unconsciously. Let me tell you, we actually want to talk to domestic students, too; the problem is we don’t know how to approach domestic students. We’re just shy, or maybe we’re not confident with our English, but we would like to talk to you, too!

Just say hi to us and be friendly, chances are we would start to talk a lot. No worries, we don’t bite.

3. International students make fun of you in their native language

I was actually surprised when one student mentioned this. Personally, I’ve never heard of this one, but this stereotype is actually interesting.

People, please stop assuming the worst of others. We might use our native language for personal stuff, but we do not use it to make fun of people. There are lots of topics that are more important than talking shit about other people!

P.S. I use Indonesian when there’s a cute guy walking in front of me. LOL just kidding, I don’t do that. (But who doesn’t talk about hot guys/girls?)

4. International students know everyone from their country

People often ask international students if they know someone from *insert home country*. Tons of times people have asked me, “Hey Adelia, do you know this guy from Indonesia named A?” Do you really expect me to know everyone? Gasp.
While this might apply to countries that have a small population of students at SCC, this does not apply to everyone. In my case, there are hundreds of Indonesian students at SCC, so to know everyone would drain out my brain memory.

5. International students eat bizarre foods

To make it specific, I’ll talk about the “Chinese people eat dogs” thing here. One student from Hong Kong mentioned that when he did a student exchange program, a lot of people asked him if he eats dogs. After he mentioned that the dog-eating practice happened in parts of China and not in Hong Kong, those people would ask, “Aren’t they the same thing?”

Even if it happens in China or Indonesia or wherever it is, it doesn’t mean that all people from that country will eat dogs.
Well, to be honest, a few people eat dogs in Indonesia, but most don’t. How could I eat a cute doggo? 🙁 I’m pretty sure my fellow international students love dogs and don’t have the heart to cook them.

So the next time you see an international student, go up and say hi to them! You might make a new friend (or, ahem, a boyfriend or girlfriend) and learn new things. Expand your worldview, people. Don’t judge people right away. Feel free to be my friend — nope, our friend. 🙂

-Adelia Sindunata