Alert! International Student Speaking…

Got Voice?

There is only one thing that you need to survive life in America as an International Student:

YOUR VOICE

Don’t look so ~confused~, I’ll explain.

Your voice is that most valuable part of your identity as an adventurer in another country. 

—————————- [[[[[[[[[Close your eyes and imagine your first meeting with an American. This is an 18 yr-old college student who has spent his entire life in Springfield, MA. He doesn’t have a passport and his only encounter with life out of the United States is the Discovery Channel and YouTube.]]]]]]]]]————————————

What does your voice then do?

  • Your voice indicates your cultural background with whatever glorious accent you have (the real one, not the stereotypical one that the media presents. The French know what I’m talking about).  
  • It is your voice that will prompt the people you meet to ask you the inevitable “Where are you from?” question.
  • It is your voice that will then explain how you are from Africa but don’t speak Swahili, or how you are from Korea and don’t particularly know their friends from China.”

Your voice makes you the ambassador of your home country; this role became yours the moment you set foot on American soil.

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Be prepared for this because, you will get a range of questions, from the ignorant to the misinformed to the confused to the think-they-know-so-much to the downright offensive. Make sure your voice has a sense of humor. Make sure your voice listens as well, because you will be learning some things from the Americans as well.

Now, don’t worry. Your voice isn’t just there to saddle you with responsibilities.  It is there to make it possible for you to have a comfortable and happy life in the US.

Don’t think so? I’ll tell you a story……..

I know this girl who once decided to take the bus for the first time to the mall alone.  She checked out the times for the bus and made sure she was at the bus stop in time to catch it. The first part of her trip went smoothly and before long she was at the mall shopping away. She felt so American!

Now, the trip back to school went a little differently than she had imagined.  After she had passed by the same Super 8 sign for the third times, she realized something had gone very wrong. You would think that, having noticed that she was travelling in circles; the girl would ask someone for help or at least an idea of where she was. She did no such thing. Instead, she opted to ride the bus two extra trips hoping that by some divine intervention she would end up where she needed to be.  Eventually the bus driver got a little disturbed by the random girl camping out on the bus and asked her where she was going.

Moral of the story: Had I- er I mean, she-asked the bus driver (who is trained to deal with this sort of thing) for help in the first place, she would have been spared the 3-hour tour of Waltham, Massachusetts. No disrespect to Waltham but there is only so many times I can be fascinated by KFC.

||||| So speak up please; as often as you can; as loud as you can- you’re set for life. |||||

 

—->Contact Poqua at padu3@brandeis.edu. Excellent story I must say. From the students’ perspective, I must say, this was definitly a great P.O.V. Poqua, honestly, keep writing. Your story spoke volumes!  This was beyond amazing! Poqua suggests you check this out : http://act.oxfamamerica.org/site/PageNavigator/GROW_Pledge.html. You are a pledge away from making a difference 🙂

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