“Being so far away from home,i made many new friends whom now i see as my family,most of the times we’re united because we have something in common, nationality or just the fact that we are international students makes us bond” Rover Molina says about being a international student at the University of Manchester.
“Some of my best memories are from this past 2 years of Uni in Manchester, I’ve made a lot of experiences, I’ve learned a lot about British culture and got the chance to travel around .I think it’s the people here that make Manchester so special and the fact that is so open and international”.
As he admits himself, it’s not always easy to be the foreigner.”I’ve lost many arguments or not said a story, when i start getting passionate about a subject I start talking in a weird mix of Spanish and English or in an impossible way to understand me”.
“I’ve been homesick all the time and it’s hard not to wish you were back home where you can be yourself and express yourself the way you want to but I still love the challenges and experiences that I face here!”
As Milla Ovaska & Sanna Unkuri say in their blog about international students, being international means understanding and accepting difference, it means new ways of thinking, putting yourself into other people’s shoes. Being international means contacts all over the world, having someone to welcome you anywhere you go. Even if you go to a completely new place, being international means being open in your attitude towards new encounters and new friends, it means stepping out of your familiar comfort zone. So I’m going to count down a list of problems or struggles that I’ve encountered since my arrival.
As a person who comes from two different countries you hear many comments either about Greece economy or the gypsies in Romania even when I was living in Greece I faced stereotypes like this, so I was anticipating this in England, but I was nicely surprised to see that people here are more open minded and don’t judge you for your background.
- Home sickness
I knew how it is to be longing for home (Romania) but it’s even harder to long for to homes, for the students that have been around a lot like me you get used to it but sometimes you don’t even know where home is anymore. There are student who moved from home for the first time and that’s the hardest way because you woke up miles away from home and alone (at least for a time until you make new friends).
- Defending your culture
It’s the same thing everywhere, Greece, Romania or England everywhere I go I have to defend the other culture and stay on guard all the time. And then they say that you’ve become British/Greek but truth is nobody likes hearing bad things about the place they live especially if they like it as much as I do!
Before I left Greece I was so confident that my English was great but once I came here, the reality is that I blocked and didn’t speak in public places (Restaurants, public services, ordering things) for a month I always asked somebody else to do knowing that I would blubber and embarrass myself. After I got used to the British accent I started talking, as normal I had a terrible accent and had to ask twice to understand what the person had say.
Coming from Romania I know how to have a very good time and I honestly believe that British people still have to learn how to have fun. I was a bit disappointed of the ways of having a good time here and even though I got used to it I still miss a good Romania party or a Greek night!
Tons of events, parties and activities well organized made my first week a new experience meant to make new friendships and help freshers accommodate better, and it does. I met so many new people and had so much fun in clubs and pubs around town, yet still the best nights are the frequent parties in the common room in the halls where everybody is welcome.
Over the course of this I’m going to speak about the two aspects that marked me the most. Firstly the general freedom that I have like organizing my whole life, from groceries to studying which is made in such way to not demand many things but to offer you opportunities to study better alone. Secondly is as I mentioned earlier the international atmosphere which is truly incredible. Students move in this city from all over the world and manage to give and take so many things, that’s why this university is getting better every day!
Having grown in Greece I never celebrated Halloween so I was very excited to get my costume on and have the best night. So we get ready go to a pub in the Northern Quarter and the security guy doesn’t want to let me in because of my “weird” Romanian id, I stay there fight with him but he wouldn’t let me in. So we move on to a club and the same thing happens, I was so disappointed the night was an absolute failure and all because I don’t have a normal id. So I did a little bit of research to see if it happened to anyone else before and I found that some international students have the same problem as me, Crina said “I can’t go out unless is at a place where they know me, otherwise they wouldn’t let me in, they always say that my id looks funny or that is not real and it’s not fair, how is that my fault?”This matter bothers me a lot but no one seems to care because it’s usually just one person who finds this problem.