Texas A&M University-Commerce has a diverse international student population but some students never get a chance to learn about their international classmates’ culture or ethnic ties.
A common issue that is described as the hardest part of adjusting to a different culture is usually food.
“We eat a lot of spices and homemade food but here, we don’t have as many spices and we have to get used to eating out,” Ahmed said.
This was a consensus among many of the Indian students who also said it was difficult to find substitutes for the food they were accustomed to eating.
Another adjustment for the international students is basically talking to American students.
“It’s intimidating, but it’s hard to explain,” Haji said. “We can’t always explain what we are trying to say because of the difference of cultures.”
A group of international students all agreed with Haiji, that the difference in language is just another challenge along with defining their culture.
“My family, culture and holidays are what I miss most,” Asha said.
She added that the biggest challenge for her so far has been the separation from her family since this is her first time traveling to a new country. To help ease feelings of homesickness, international students come together to celebrate the holidays they once celebrated at home.
Although the journey is long, most international students say “if you can travel do it.”