I’d like to thank my student Shirin Abboud for her excellent final project: International Student Interview. I would also like to thank Nhi (Nikki) Vuong for sharing her story with us. Because of their hard work, we have access to the cross-cultural experiences of a UNR international student from Vietnam. I hope that this helps students coming to America as well as educators in America better prepare for study abroad’s challenges and rewards.
Many of Nikki’s cross-cultural adaptation and transitional challenges are shared among international students. The following key points are from the video:
- Cross-Cultural Challenges: Language, making friends, and family separation. She coped with language challenges by practicing with friends/teammates in addition to watching movies, writing, asking questions, and getting involved with activities to use the English language often. She made friends by being more outgoing and getting involved with sports. Being separated from family can be very challenging but Nikki uses social media to stay in touch.
- Nikki came to the U.S. with her immediate family so knowing someone here is helpful but it means that there are more cross-cultural complexities that come with more people transitioning into the U.S. culture.
- She likes the U.S. culture/friendly people/diversity
- Study Abroad Rewards: Increases confidence, knowledge/experience, open-mindedness. Builds friendships, language skills, cultural competencies, international experience.
To provide more stories about study abroad in America, I will post a new international student interview from a different country each week for the three weeks. Check out last week’s interview with Jiao Jiao from Beijing, China. Hope you find this helpful and please comment if you do. Thanks.
Also, HLSL Institute is a helpful resource for international students, travelers, expatriates and expatriate families coming to the U.S. Check it out if you want help with cultural transition, language, transportation, and acculturation development.