You wouldn’t think that coming from a different country would make you feel any different considering the fact that New York City is what we call a melting pot of different nationalities. Well, we are here to tell you that sometimes you will feel like an alien on this Island and people will look at you like you are the weirdest human being they have ever encountered. Sometimes it can be a blessing and sometimes it can be a curse but all in all we should all embrace our internationalism and be proud.
As we are all well aware, the American culture is very different to most cultures around the world. If you decided to move here as an international, the culture is probably a lot of the reason why you decided to come here in the first place. There are, of course, struggles that come with that and we have probably all had to deal with some negatives. Here are some struggles of being an international in NYC:
1. Having people ask you what your accent is
We might all think our accent is pretty americanized, but a true American will spot an accent from a mile away and most importantly, will not be shy to ask about it.
2. People have never heard about the country you are from or they have heard wild rumors about what it is like there
This applies especially to Scandinavians, as we are considered to live in the ice age, and we ride polar bears to school.
3. People love to share everything with us, but we are not raised that way
Americans love to share their entire life story with strangers on a daily basis, which can be very interesting at times, but on other occasions we are just not that interested. After all, most cultures are not as open and upfront as the Americans.
4. When you have to live without your favorite foods
In a city filled with different cultures, it is always disappointing when you can’t find your favorite home country snack anywhere, or you have to pay crazy prices to get it.
5. When you’re suddenly not allowed to drink anymore
In most other countries around the world the drinking limit is 18. Then you move here, and suddenly you are back to being underage.
6. Constantly having to plan out your day due to time zones, to call your family and friends at home
Probably something all international students find challenging, especially if the time difference is really big.
7. Not having your family there for thanksgiving
The struggle of finding an American friend with a family willing to take in a stray for thanksgiving.
8. Having to constantly convert dollars into your home currency
It makes shopping way more draining.
In all seriousness, being an international is not that bad. New Yorkers are very inclusive, and being an international can sometimes be a benefit. We hope you embrace your internationalism and that you are not afraid to show it off.