By Regina Moreno Hernandez
International Students Speak Out
International students struggle to adapt to a new environment while also missing their countries. There is nothing like being home, especially if, for some of them, getting there involves talking a 12-hour flight.
However, the diversity of the Bay Area can’t be questioned. It’s a place where people from all ethnicities come to live, travel, study, and work. Because of this, there are lots of places to eat food from different regions, special shops to buy clothes and products of other countries, and somewhere interesting to go for everybody.
As an international student from Mexico, I know missing something or someone from your hometown is normal. On some occasions, we miss our family, friends, and even pets, so much, we wish we could bring them with us. Through interviews with several international students, the BCC Voice found out what or who students would bring with them, if they could.
“I would love to bring the public transportation from Switzerland to the Bay Area,” said Diego Frank, who has lived in Berkeley for almost two years.
“The current public transportation system is alright, but it could be extended. Trains in my country run every 5-10 minutes in all directions and are always on time. In my opinion, people in the Bay Area and in the rest of the U.S. rely too much on their cars, which is problematic because of the traffic and the environment.”
Yearning for a family member is a feeling we can all connect to. Yekta Gougol, who is from Iran, misses her mother, talking to her, her company, and, of course, her cooking.
We’ve all been in the situation where we are having a marvelous experience and one of the thoughts which crosses our minds is “this would be perfect if my best friend could be with me.”
Miguel Juteau, whose origin is half French, half Filipino said he would bring his best friend from the Philippines if he could.
“Just the fact that he knew me, my secrets, and everything, yet he didn’t change. He was good company.”
Jinyu Park, from Korea, wishes she could bring her adorable dog, Bori. What she misses most about her dog is sleeping with Bori in her bed.
Jinyu is not the only one who would bring her pet. Ahreum Kim, whose hometown is Busan, South Korea, would also like to bring her dog, Shinja Kim. Kim longs for “walking on the beach with [her] dog at night.”
BCC has an International Students office located on the fourth floor. They will probably not be able to bring international students’ favorite person, object or pet here, but they can offer other services, such as workshops, and answer tuition questions, offer assistance with the DMV, and more.
The BCC International Students office is located in Room 454, and they are open Monday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There is also an International Students Club! According to the BCC website, their meetings are on Wednesdays from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Room 322.
I encourage everybody to make the experience lighter and more enjoyable for international students. Talk with them, help them engage in the community and get to know the area, ask them questions, if you’re curious about what it is like where they live. Take the opportunity to learn from other people, ideals, and cultures.