Comments from Panels of International Students (Winter, 2003)
Experiences with other students
- We need to educate students not to laugh at international students just
because they have accents. This is especially true of freshmen--If other
students laugh at us, we will stop speaking in class. You can just feel the
stares of the other students.
- Students and staff are sometimes not welcoming to international students.
They can tell who we are by our accents. Again, we can feel this.
- I have been told to go home if you do not like America.
- I am the only international student in the class so I do not talk a lot.
Students look at me. They do not argue with me, they just pass over me. I
wish they would argue with me.
- Some students are scared to try to communicate with us.
- Sometimes my own cultural group gets mad because I know so many U.S. students.
Experiences in the classroom
- Years ago, in some Asian countries, we were taught to use our right hands
to write with, not the left. In this way we did not interfere with others.
These norms seem to be changing now.
- Grades were not explained to me. A C- grade was OK back home. Getting an
F was not a big deal, you just took the course again. What is a W? It is all
- I felt like because I had an accent, that I was not that smart.
- Some international students are brought up with this is what you
have to learn. There are no arguments. Some would not know how to argue--either
verbally or in writing.
- 9/11 was powerful for a lot of international students, too. Having
such a focus on 9/11 takes away attention that could be paid on other devastating
events elsewhere in the world. Focusing so much on 9/11 makes the other
histories vanish. The world suffers from events like this (9/11) every
- Instructors need to be more aware of the support services that are available
to international students. This is especially true of instructors in large
- Instructors need to refer international students to the resources and services that are available to them. This is especially important if you do not have time to help them personally.