23 problems only international students will understand


International students around the world face a similar daily struggle; what is this holiday and how am I supposed to respond to it? Am I supposed to eat this? Is she dancing or suffering severe spasms? Am I ever going to get through this paperwork?!

Don’t worry friends- here at Study International, we know that your struggle is real, and just to prove it, here is a list of 23 problems only international students will understand:

1. Being so jetlagged for the first two weeks of class, you thought you’d accidentally enrolled in night school.

You just have to hope all your classmates haven’t already categorized you as a hopeless loser before you get back on form…

2. Feeling so alone on campus during the holidays, the highlight of your day is the quick glimpse of the cleaner.

It’s not like you were waiting for her by the window or anything…

3. Pronouncing words completely different to everyone else around you.

“It’s Bier, not beer…Jeez!”

4. Converting everything you buy into your own currency and feeling like a high-class tycoon or a desperate peasant, depending on where you are.

You’re king of the world…until you check your bank balance…

5. Never quite knowing which I.D you need to take with you when you go out.

Just buy a really big bag and then you can carry them all!

6. Having obvious rifts in your pop-culture awareness and constantly resorting to the ‘smile & nod’.

“Stroganoff? Oh, yeah. I listen to him all the time…”

7. Having to explain why you moved away ten million times through every year of your studies.

“Is everybody listening? Because I will not be explaining again!”

8. Going weeks without talking to your parents because they’re never awake when you are!

And yet, they always manage to catch you when you’re already drunk…what is up with that?

9. Never knowing who to support throughout Eurovision, the World Cup, the Olympics, or any other world championship due to your own inability to define ‘home’.

Let’s be honest; by the time the final comes around, you’ll have completely lost the will to care.

10. The total shock of realising that the country you’re studying in is nothing like the movies make it seem…

Don’t go sitting outside coffee shops all day, chain smoking cigarettes and contemplating life because you’ll definitely struggle to make friends…nobody does that in real life.

11. Having to answer to a completly different name because no one can pronounce yours.

“Who? Oh…sorry, were you talking to me?”

12. Slipping in a slang term from your home country and everyone thinking you sneezed…


13. Wanting so bad to make friends with the new guy but having literally no idea what he’s saying.

You think he’s a nice guy, when really there’s no way of knowing…he could be saying anything!

14. Being totally willing to trade your left kidney for someone who cooks like your Mum…

Because no one does it quite as good as her!

15. Getting so excited when you meet someone from your own country, you need a few minutes alone in a very dark room to calm down.

“It’s all getting too much for me- I need a few minutes alone.”

16. Having to think of innovative ways to sneak your favourite foods through customs.

No one will ever know…

17. Being marked down for using the English spelling rather than American, or for using the American spelling rather than the English.

Really?? What’s in a few letters?!

18. Having constant fear that even the slightest violation will get you instantly deported.

Just keep your head down and no one will suspect a thing…

19. Trying to come to terms with your strange, hybrid accent…

Your really should try and keep it under control when you’re Skyping your friends, or you’ll never hear the end of it!

20. The fleetingly sickening moment when you consider marrying a native just so you can get the benefits of full citizenship…

It may seem like a good idea at times, but it’s probably best that you don’t…

21. Forever trying to balance your annoyance for reinforcing stereotypes with the horrifying guilt you feel when you break them.

“Yes, I’m from England. I live off a strict diet of manners and tea…”

22. The disgust that you feel when you realise you’re the ‘token’ foreign friend…

Before you get too horrified, just remember that the token friend gets away with everything…

But hey, what’s stopping you from coming back?!

Image via Flickr.

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