Being an international student is difficult…
Not only are you studying in a brand new city, making new friends in a language that isn’t your own, but you also have to deal with questions like these on a daily basis…
1) Oh you’re (Insert any nationality), you must be from (insert capital)
That is the capital and well done for knowing it but there are other cities in France than Paris and more to Spain than just Madrid, you get my drift.
2) You’re from Denmark? I’ve been to Sweden!
That’s great but they are really not the same country and I’m sure Austrians would tell you the same about Germany just as Scotland and England are two very different countries.
3) Wait, you’re not American?
I get this pretty much every time I meet someone new and have to explain I’m definitely not American, I just happened to learn English watching Beverly Hills 90210
4) Say something in (insert native language).
Every time and it’s always awkward cause you don’t know what to say and end up saying “I don’t know what to say” in your native language 9/10 times and it more often than not results in:
5) Haha your language sounds so funny/like you are eating a potato/sims/ugly/weird ….
What do you expect me to say to that? I only said anything cause you asked me too
6) My friend is from (Insert country) – do you know them?
Even being from a tiny country like Denmark I don’t know everyone so chances are your new Spanish friend from Barcelona won’t know your friend Alvaro from Seville.
7) You are not like other people I’ve met from (Insert Country).
What do you actually expect me to say to that? I’m sorry there is more than one kind of people from my country however it’s even better when you get told:
8) You are nothing like what (insert nationality) are like in movies.
You are not serious, right? Because it’s no like all British people speak with heavy RP and drink tea all the time… okay the last part is actually true but not all stereotypes are which lead me to:
9) I thought (nationality) were meant to be funny/alcoholics/blonde/tall/tan.
Stereotypes are the easiest way to put people in boxes but mostly they are exaggerated and over the top and just not true. I’m sorry my brown hair, green eye combo doesn’t fit with your “all Scandinavians are blonde” but well done for keeping the stereotypes alive 😉
9) Do you celebrate Christmas in your country?
Yes we celebrate Christmas – just because we do it on the 24th doesn’t mean its not Christmas. We also celebrate Easter and new years eve and pretty much any major holiday you celebrate however things go downhill when you get this one
10) Do you celebrate bonfire night in your country?
After looking at people asking this for a while some do realize what they’ve just asked while others learn why you actually celebrate bonfire night and why we don’t in other countries.
11) You drink tea how? Without milk? How do you live?
Well most of the tea we drink is fruit tea and definitely without milk but importantly we have realized tea does not solve anything – coffee does!
12) I took (insert language) as a GCSE, I remember it so well. Says hello and counts to five
And they make you stay as they try and remember another word, usually ends in a long awkward exchange where they realize they really don’t know your language at all.
13) Teach me something in your language.
This is my favourite one because this way I can humour myself by getting you to say basically whatever – you will never what you’re actually saying.
14) Can I come visit your country?
Okay actually this might be my favourite one because I desperately want to show off my home country and return some of the love I’ve received while being a foreigner at uni!
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