Added: Kortnee Hassett - Date: 12.11.2021 19:32 - Views: 19650 - Clicks: 3641
Learn more about CSSW's racial justice initiatives. I appreciate any local American friend who is willing to talk to me.
Not everyone I meet in New York City wants to talk to me, and the major reason is because my social skill is deeply affected by my language and cultural barriers. My American social skills were honed by hanging out with English speakers and interning in various international organizations back in China.
Being admitted to Columbia also proves my English proficiency in some way. I thought my international experience in China would help me fit into the new environment; however, I have encountered lots of frustrations since I came here.
Everyone in New York City speaks so fast and their accents make English sound like a different language to me. In Chinese, I enjoy making jokes and puns, which makes my personality more colorful. There are times I try very hard to make a conversation with someone by asking questions or talking a lot by myself, but for some reason, they respond minimally and seem to want to move on to the next person.
Once they find someone else to talk to, their facial expressions suddenly turn joyful and they become talkative, as if they are transformed into a completely different person when they are not talking to me. But I do appreciate people who show extra patience with me, such as continuing the conversation with me or including me in a group discussion by asking questions. It would be nice if people showed interest in me beyond small talk.
I am a social work student, and we are required to intern in agencies to practice social work skills that we learn in class. However, the language barrier influences our performances in the workplace and the way people think of our capabilities. This barrier has also presented problems in my love life. My ex-boyfriend is a fast speaker, although I would ask him to speak slower, he still used his normal fast speed.
This was especially difficult when I was tired; trying to interpret his fast speech about deep topics was just too much for me. I wish I knew this before we broke up. There is some truth in that. However, for many of us, mingling within our Chinese group is where we can find confidence and comforts after we accumulated so many frustrations when venturing out. He wishes he could interact with more locals. A Chinese girl tells me that most students in her program, both international and domestic, leave school once their classes are finished, so there is no chance to get to know her classmates better.
I write this essay in hopes that my Chinese fellows who are struggling with the same issue can relate and find solace in my story. Yet not every Chinese student is as lucky as me. I know they must have tried. I wish more Americans can put themselves in our shoes; acts of kindness like sincere check-ins, inviting us to different activities, showing interest in us are all helpful in assisting us to find a sense of belonging in the new environment. If you are uncomfortable in a group of people, invite individuals to have lunch or study together. Newly arrived Chinese students, hang in there.
We are not alone: we are facing frustrations, growing and transforming together. We need to encourage and support each other, and soon we will excel. Her work emphasizes the way social work in combination with business and communication can make a difference in the world. She will graduate with the Class of Columbia School of Social Work has been a leader in social work education and research since Thanks for the great read!
I am a Fall MSW-applicant and I appreciate that you bring your diverse background and perspective to the field, Columbia University, and our city. I currently work primarily with high school students who are immigrants from China.
In addition to the language barrier, the idea of multiculturalism is new to Chinese culture in general. Speaking and learning English is not a priority for the youth I work with, but instead — utilizing their strengths and exploring their interests are! What you have been through sounds similar to the experiences these students are having daily. As my work is predominantly in Flushing, many of these students have ties to other Mandarin-speaking groups and individuals in their networks.
Our education systems need to reflect and acknowledge diverse backgrounds, such as yours, and promote integration of culture and identity instead of conformity and assimilation. Columbia University is lucky to have you. Hi Annabelle, It is such a coincidence that I came across your article today. The title of your article caught my eye. I am also an international student from China.
I graduated from another social work program two years ago and I faced with a lot of the same challenges that you talked about here.
During the two years of my graduate study, I felt lonely most of the times. Besides the academic pressure that confines you to studies, it is the social exclusion. And nobody really talks about it. However, I was also lucky enough to have a few American friends who, as you said, were willing to go to the extra mile to talk and make friends with me.
The message that you are sending is really powerful. It not only acknowledges the difficulties that many Chinese students have when first arrive in the country, but also calls for cultural awareness and real appreciation of diversity. Thank you for this amazing article. Hey Annabelle, Thank you for sharing this great essay, which is quite practical and useful for other Chinese students in foreign countries I think. Shall we re-post it online at our official WeChat : phdworkshopchina in hopes that more students would learn something from you and experice a smooth student life outside China?
Your positive attitude and perseverance will continue to help you acclimate to this new culture. You are a leader and offer good suggestions to your Chinese peers. My husband and I have adopted our 2 daughters from China.
They are now 18 and 21 years old. When our daughters were in high school we had an exchange student from China who attended a private high school that had over 80 students from China. Our exchange student was one who limited himself with socializing with the American students and instead of continuing his studies at the school he transferred to a school in Queens NY where there are mostly Chinese students.
Some of the students were more open like yourself and made friends with the American students. Keep on expressing your feelings and you will do well. Good luck with your journey! Thank you so much for writing about your experience. I have been able to meet and get to know a lot of the Chinese international students here at my university and have heard some of the same challenges that you mentioned from them.
It continually breaks my heart when my friends from China have felt the challenges of becoming friends with Americans. I know that your voice is helping other Chinese students who have had similar experiences to you. Because the friendships are so worth it! Thank you again for sharing and I know that you are impacting Columbia with your experiences and wisdom.
Keep it up! I hope to meet you this fall! I am a Nigerian living in Nigeria. I work in a school and we currently have a new Chinese student high-school who is having a lot of trouble settling in. I wonder if we could connect offline and see if there are some tips you could give or any other even more practical help.
Personally, I lived in London for a little while and made quite a few Chinese friends.
I had to be consistently patient, helpful, friendly and generally just genuinely lovely towards them. English was not their first language and for a few of them, they were speaking it for the first time. I realise however that not everyone was ready to put in the same amount of work which I did. Majority just felt the Chinese students all wanted to keep to themselves only and talk to no one else.
Taking the effort to make those friendships was one of the best things about my living in London. We always had a good time albeit with a lot of stares! I had the same issues studying in China for two years. I only had two chinese friends who had studied in America. Hello Annabelle, I am a Graduate student in Europe and here the studies are demanding but not that time consuming and I am an engineering student. I am Chinese although my nationality might say otherwise. From the beginning I was very open with them as I myself wish I had gone to University in China, but as time passed I noticed that they showed no interest in me as if I was not really apart of their community because of my nationality.American man looking for chinese student
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