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InternationalStudent.TV is designed to help newcomers with their academic and cultural adjustment process and educate people all around the world to correct distorted impressions of what the life in the US is all about. Here, international students from all over the world share their real world experiences and perspectives about the life in America after studying in the United States for several years.

Click on the Play button above to watch Fitting In documentary.

And be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.

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Lela, United Kingdom
Hi from UK! thank you for sharing this video. i was studying in the US for many years and i can relate to these students.
Desideria, Italy
Very interesting video and this website also. I learned a lot from comments. I also want to study in the United States after I finish my high school.
I really want to go and study abroad!!!
i enjoyed watching this documentary. i want to study in the United States or UK someday
wonderful video, i enjoyed and learned good things from this video
very nicely done
i graduated from faculty of commerce, Cairo University, Accounting department, in Egypt, i hope to continue my higher studies in the USA, please help me how can i do that? please recommend me scholarship to study in the USA, i searched for scholarship but did not suit me and the only available programme for egyptian is Fulbright and it did not suit me.
hugo germany
this was beneficial information for me, thank you
Ella Norway
An interesting video. I will go to study in Los Angeles next year and it is good to hear from those students and know those things. Thank you.
Rohan India
very good video!
Having been studying in an US university for over three years now, I so much agree with the things these students are saying.
Kaito Japan
Thank you for this wonderful documentary. I learned a lot. I hope to study in America next year if I get accepted to my university. See you all there.

Documentary Transcript:

: The United States gives you flexibility to take any courses you want. Another thing that it does is, it's just a nice learning atmosphere, I think most of all the only, the main thing that sets it apart is there's a lot of money allocated to education, so the facilities are good and it's flexible, so you can mix and study anything you want.

Stevens: I think a lot of students follow something that's known as the U-curve of cultural adjustment, and that is when you're first here you're very excited.

Mia: More positive things. So, it was really a shock when I came here. Because it was, my first three months I was really homesick.

Stanislaw: I was excited when I was coming, and it's a whole new environment and new people, and there is even a shock at the beginning.

Sobel: When they first arrive, I think there's, I think a little bit of surprise. They're looking at America and not on television and not what they've seen through movies, but in reality. And, I think at first there's, you know, I think people a little bit scared, nervous, very shy.

Stevens: A lot of students then after that and at varying times, experience sort of a downturn.

Stanislaw: This happens just at the beginning. After that really just get into the routine and every day is the same, hard work, hard studying, eventually we'll hang in there.

Sobel: Over time I think people become usually a little bit less shy, a little, usually more comfortable with American culture. Maybe more understanding of the complications and the complexity of American culture, because it's a complicated place, and I think people sometimes come here with not very complicated expectations. And, I think as time goes on they learn.

Stevens: Some students come believing that everybody's rich here and that they can be rich, too, and that they can easily get a job and they, they can easily get permanent residence, and most of them begin to realize after a very short time that this is not always true.

Stanislaw: I realized that all the movies and other things that I'd been watching back in my country are...they will barely fall in a situation like this. It's a strong fiction, you know, and obviously Hollywood is good in this.

Stevens: Most students at a certain point begin the critical stage, and that is starting to come up again and recognizing that there are good things about here and there are good things about home, and that neither one is perfect.

Patrik: It's a funny thing, when you come from Europe, it's so distinct what European culture is, what Scandinavian culture, what British culture is like. American culture is a mix.

Mia: There is people from everywhere in the whole world. And I love that, actually. That's what I love. Because you can meet people from, you name it. And, it's very nice. And bring together our thoughts. And, interact with people.

Abhinand: It was really nice, just meeting different kinds of people. I think that's been the best experience.
Xiaoxue: I have Russian friend, American friend, of course, and Indian friend, Pakistani friend, and African friend, and South American friend. So, they're all over the world.

American People

Patrik: I have the experience from people that they're more open talking to each other.

Mia: It's easy to talk to them. I mean, it's very easy to, you can walk up to them and most of them, you know, usually talk back to you.

Abhinand: I actually like the fact that you can say hi to people over here, because that way one thin nice is you can make a lot of friends, you know. They may not be very deep, very good friends, but you can still make a lot of friends.

John: I mean, people are friendly here. You get to see, but after you've lived here for a while, you see that everybody has their own sort of individual life.

Stanislaw: And, by the time you ask them for a favor or something bigger than, how you doing, you realize that they just, wait a minute, don't bother me.

Mia: I think Americans, one of my first impression of them was that was that they, they had a tendency of saying, oh, yeah, let's get together, and let's hang out. And let's do this. But then they never, they don't really mean what they say.

Classroom Sessions

Xiaoxue: Here in a class, you have to speak out. You have to active, interact with the group, interact with the teacher.

Mia: Well, here it's more of a, like, classroom situation from teacher versus student. They are more buddy-buddy here.

Abhinand: There's less respect for authority, but you get a chance to talk with a professor, to have lunch with a professor, to listen to his ideas, to give your ideas, so that's a good thing.


Stevens: I think most international students begin rather rapidly to get a better realistic view of what life is like in the US. And, in fact, what the US is like.

John: There is this kind of reliance on the written rule, and the law.

Mia: If you say the wrong thing at the wrong time, wrong place, you are going to have lawsuits or, you are not really that free.

John: Sometimes, well, that's good, written. You get an orderly society. But you, sometimes it's followed to a degree that sort of stupid.

Stevens: We have problems, too. And some of our problems have to do with poverty and high health care costs.

Patrik: You see crazy people walking around, homeless in the streets, beggars. A lot of beggars. A lot more beggars than I thought.

John: The fact that they can leave such a large proportion of their people without medical cover.

Mia: I remember I was sick once. And I went to the emergency room. And then, the first thing that they asked me when they don't even look what's wrong, what is my problem or something. They just asked do you have insurance?

Stevens: If things are not exactly the way you wanted them to be, and if they're not exactly the way things are at home, well, they're not supposed to be.

John: It takes quite a while to get to know how things work in the States or in any particular culture. You think you know it after three months, six months, okay. But it takes a lot longer to know that kind of deep cultural structures.


Stanislaw: I would recommend coming here to get education because it's recognized worldwide.

Sobel: My best advice would be first to talk to people who've come to the United States before, but to talk to many people.

Mia: Just talk to people with similar experiences.

Patrik: Save up money, enough to buy a car when you come here.

Abhinand: Come over here and don't stick in your own group, because there's no point in doing that. Come over here and mix and learn about different things.

Stevens: Well, I like the writer Stephen Covey and I like what he has to say when one is beginning something new, and that is begin with the end in mind. So, I recommend that students start with how they would like to see themselves at the end of two years or at the end or four years or longer if they're doing a degree. Start with where you want to end up and then prepare yourself in that fashion.

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