Being an international student is actually a really special time in your life. You go to another country, meet new people, experience all sorts of things and – most of all – you can enjoy every minute of it, because hey, this is not your normal day-to-day life. But being an international is also challenging, exhausting and well, not always that fun (I’m talking about 1 per cent of the time, of course). It’s that time of your life when every day is different – and it’s all part of the ride.
There are certain moments that every international student has experienced during his or her exchange and which you’ll completely understand. Maybe you have to laugh, cry or scream (internally), but you have to admit: these things are soooo relatable. Here they come:
1. Introducing yourself is not always that simple.
You introduced yourself to, like, 247897 people, and every single one of them just doesn’t get your name. You can’t help it that your name is so oddly specific for your country. Now, when you introduce yourself to new people, you just add an explanation already. Or use your nickname. Nobody cares.
2. Locals think that the only thing you’re here for is partying.
Which is not true, of course. You’re here to study and learn about different cultures. Think about all of the international connections and opportunities for your career, just because you went abroad!
But ok, maybe just a little bit.
3. Because you have to admit, this is the time of your life when you drink the most.
It’s a shame, but it’s true.
4. Eventually, you’re really tired of meeting new people.
So you hide in your room and decide to take a nap instead of going to another social activity. Don’t get me wrong, you like to meet people and stuff, but sometimes enough is enough.
5. But you’re never tired of hearing about another culture’s customs.
And comparing those with your own. “Wow, in Holland everyone is always on time? That’s so weird.”
6. You want to discover every delicious restaurant, great coffee bar and hot nightclub your new hometown has to offer.
You made a list of all the cool places you HAVE to visit before you leave. And then you realize that you’ve got no clue about the city you come from.
7. Sometimes, you get really annoyed by tourists, who are, just like you, international people.
Because you’re a local now, duh.
8. You can say ‘cheers’ in twelve languages by now.
You’re such a linguistic talent. Who would’ve thought that you would learn so much in such a short period of time? You can make your parents proud when you return home.
9. You learn to be completely fine on your own.
10. And last but not least, you think you can definitely live here.
You can’t imagine that you’ll go back in a few months/weeks/days, because this is your hometown as well. You can already see yourself living here, going to work, celebrate national holidays – you’re such an international person!