Why do Internation Students have such a Reputation?

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Abblecrumble
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Hi! I'll be attending university in September and from reading through the forums, I find that the international students seem to:

  • Never leave their room
  • Only interact with other international students
  • Eat other people's foods or cause some trouble within shared accommodation


This is probably just a generalisation and just the impression I got from other posts here.

So, has anyone got some good stories about sharing with international students? Why do international students get a reputation of being antisocial? If you are an international student, what's your take on it?

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biscuitbarrel
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#2
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(Original post by Abblecrumble)
Hi! I'll be attending university in September and from reading through the forums, I find that the international students seem to:

  • Never leave their room
  • Only interact with other international students
  • Eat other people's foods or cause some trouble within shared accommodation


This is probably just a generalisation and just the impression I got from other posts here.

So, has anyone got some good stories about sharing with international students? Why do international students get a reputation of being antisocial? If you are an international student, what's your take on it?


International student here! Yet to head off for uni but from what I've heard from my older friends, your second point is pretty true for a lot of them - it's possible that being of a different nationality/ethnicity etc they might tend to gravitate towards people from their own country and form their own "cliques"!

Third point - YES I WILL EAT ALL YOUR FOOD (BUT YOU ARE ALSO WELCOME TO MINE )
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AlesanaWill
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I'm starting Uni in September, but I went to a college that had a lot of international students. I did find that they tended to stay together in their groups, but that doesn't meant that they're not friendly or won't talk to you. I think perhaps what's different is they're less likely to make the first move and approach you - you have to approach them. It was like that at college. But once you've done that, they'll talk to you like anyone else. However it's only natural for them to be closer to other international students as I guess they can relate to them better - plus they'll speak their native language (some international students at college struggled with English a bit which was a barrier to forming friendships with English students).

From what I've heard, everyone eats your food, not just international students!

Perhaps "not leaving their room" is better explained as being more hard-working than the average Uni student. I found this at college (in general, there were definitely exceptions). I guess if you've travelled all that way specifically to get an education in England, you're perhaps going to appreciate it more and get the most out of it you can. Plus certain cultures are very work-orientated.

I think the important thing is not to let stereotypes guide your view towards international students. They might be more likely to be less social, but that doesn't mean that they are that way.
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returnmigrant
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#4
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Many (not all) International students come from cultures where you are expected to mix only with those whose background you are fully aware of. This can make mixing with 'UK students' difficult as they cant 'read' the social clues as easily. This and obvious language problems, means it feels more comfortable for many overseas students to mix only with others from the same background as them.

And, many UK students dont involve them in their social activities or make 'allowances' for cultural differences. In many cases they just make assumptions about attitudes towards alcohol etc and exclude them by default. Equally many overseas students also make assumptions about UK students, especially about alcohol and sexual laxity, and never bother to find out the truth.
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Abblecrumble
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I am all for socialising! In fact, I find international students interesting as they come from different countries and cultures so there's plenty to talk about. I wouldn't want them to hide away though. :eek:
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username1221364
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#6
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I'm international, though I'm not a student there yet. I don't understand why they only socialise within their own groups. If I'm moving to England, I plan on making friends from all over.


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Smack
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(Original post by Abblecrumble)
Hi! I'll be attending university in September and from reading through the forums, I find that the international students seem to:

  • Never leave their room
  • Only interact with other international students
  • Eat other people's foods or cause some trouble within shared accommodation


This is probably just a generalisation and just the impression I got from other posts here.

So, has anyone got some good stories about sharing with international students? Why do international students get a reputation of being antisocial? If you are an international student, what's your take on it?

I haven't heard the last one, but international students generally pay a lot of money to study here and hence concentrate on getting the best grades possible as they're highly valued back home, whereas for a lot of us it's fairly inconsequential as long as we get a 2:1.

Cultural differences too. UK student life mainly revolves around alcohol but a lot of international students may not wish to participate in such activities. The language barrier also helps keep them together, as it often does English speaking people in foreign countries.
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Gillybop
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Interacting with international students is something I'm really looking forward to, so I hope that it is just generalisation, I spent two years traveling, so if I can't travel again for a while, having international students to talk to will tide me over.
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danny111
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(Original post by Smack)
I haven't heard the last one, but international students generally pay a lot of money to study here and hence concentrate on getting the best grades possible as they're highly valued back home, whereas for a lot of us it's fairly inconsequential as long as we get a 2:1.

Cultural differences too. UK student life mainly revolves around alcohol but a lot of international students may not wish to participate in such activities. The language barrier also helps keep them together, as it often does English speaking people in foreign countries.
Good answer, I concur.
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jadeannalis
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#10
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The point has already been made but:

Everyone pretty much shares food

and

I plan on mixing and chatting and hopefully make friends with as many people as I can, especially the international students tbh for the reason that they are generally more hardworking
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The_Internet
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I find the int'l students to be pretty cool! Maybe it's cos I'm Pakistani myself, but I find the int'l students to be pretty awesome! Though one guy did think (srs) that uni would be a lot like "American pie" ....
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ivy45
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I'm a soon-to-be-international-student and plan on leaving my room quite often, cooking my own food and making friends from all over

But about the prejudices above, I have to say that no. 1 and 2 are understandable - due to the fees paid, and cultural work ethics, many feel compelled to work very hard (in their rooms) and I find it common sense that it's easier to befriend people you have something in common with (such as people from your own country or other international students who are also in a new country)

Being in a new country can be daunting, and isn't it human instinct to seek security in familiarity?
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returnmigrant
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A plea to all those hoping to be new 1st Years at Uni in Sept/Oct - make a conscious effort to get to know any overseas/exchange students on your course, and not just in classtime.

The point many of them feel especially lonely is at weekends - arrange to meet for lunch or a walk or a film etc - because thats when they miss their families at home the most. I shared a Uni flat with three overseas students as a p/grad - we agreed that we would do something as a 'family' every Sunday Someone cooked a meal or we all went out together in the afternoon. It was the highlight of their week.
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moritzplatz
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(Original post by returnmigrant)
A plea to all those hoping to be new 1st Years at Uni in Sept/Oct - make a conscious effort to get to know any overseas/exchange students on your course, and not just in classtime.

The point many of them feel especially lonely is at weekends - arrange to meet for lunch or a walk or a film etc - because thats when they miss their families at home the most. I shared a Uni flat with three overseas students as a p/grad - we agreed that we would do something as a 'family' every Sunday Someone cooked a meal or we all went out together in the afternoon. It was the highlight of their week.
wow you are talking as if you were doing some sort of charity work...

I am an international student, I have friends here in the UK and I don't think I'm much different from a home student.
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zaback21
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(Original post by moritzplatz)
wow you are talking as if you were doing some sort of charity work...

I am an international student, I have friends here in the UK and I don't think I'm much different from a home student.
No need to bash others point of view. You can't judge everyone.I myself an international student and can tell you that, though I am not generalizing which I will actually sound like, I found local students far more social than other international students who are not from my native land.

In fact, it was awful with some of the group project I had to work with other international students. If you are the only one who is from a different country and rest of your group member is basically from the same region( not necessarily same country), they will not communicate or help you as much as they will do with their own kind. Sorry to say this, cos I know its not what everybody does, but most do.

The same can't be said of local students. They were extremely helpful and never made me feel like I am an outsider.

So, as much as I want the local students to be friendly with international students, my advice to some of those international students will be " You came to an English speaking country to learn English and enjoy a different culture and life: so try enjoy it rather than make foreign country your native land by hanging out with the people of your native land. Cos its effect can be seen during project presentation where after 2-3 years, you still struggle with English."

Sorry if I sounded rude and its not meant to everybody.
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moritzplatz
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(Original post by zaback21)
No need to bash others point of view. You can't judge everyone.I myself an international student and can tell you that, though I am not generalizing which I will actually sound like, I found local students far more social than other international students who are not from my native land.

In fact, it was awful with some of the group project I had to work with other international students. If you are the only one who is from a different country and rest of your group member is basically from the same region( not necessarily same country), they will not communicate or help you as much as they will do with their own kind. Sorry to say this, cos I know its not what everybody does, but most do.

The same can't be said of local students. They were extremely helpful and never made me feel like I am an outsider.

So, as much as I want the local students to be friendly with international students, my advice to some of those international students will be " You came to an English speaking country to learn English and enjoy a different culture and life: so try enjoy it rather than make foreign country your native land by hanging out with the people of your native land. Cos its effect can be seen during project presentation where after 2-3 years, you still struggle with English."

Sorry if I sounded rude and its not meant to everybody.
from your reply maybe I understand what the topic is actually about:
asian students.

in my experience, all other international students are not much different from home ones.

while it's true that many asian students (not all obviously) tend to be friends only with people from the same country/region.
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zaback21
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(Original post by moritzplatz)
from your reply maybe I understand what the topic is actually about:
asian students.

in my experience, all other international students are not much different from home ones.

while it's true that many asian students (not all obviously) tend to be friends only with people from the same country/region.
Well yes, I meant asian students(sorry I didnt meant everyone, some of my good friends are Asian but they are mostly Asian-English).

Anyway, I am transferring to UK this Sept and hope to enjoy the friendship and company of many local and international students.
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Clip
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They do leave their rooms all the time - and not just to go anywhere as jejune as the union or the Roxy.

They go to the fabulous online world of Mysteria and battle dragons and knights.

And they don't waste their time in any old pub - they go to a Tavern - where they can be sent on more mighty quests.
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Origami Bullets
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Most of these problems seem to stem from
- poor English skills - if you can't communicate colloquially in English, you make friends with people who speak your own language, so your English doesn't improve, so the problem becomes a vicious circle. Universities are partially responsible for this as they let in students whose English isn't good enough because of the fees they pay.
- there being enough students from certain countries for it to be possible to avoid speaking English socially, with the problem exacerbated by some halls resembling ghettos
- pressure of the fact that your family have paid an awful lot for you to study, so you must get good grades
- cultural misunderstandings and a lack of desire to join in with traditional freshers week activities

I lived with an EU student in second year and we all got on really well. However, her English was good (completely fluent, though with an accent nowadays) and she had consciously avoided making friends from her own country.

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Serenade
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(Original post by Clip)
They do leave their rooms all the time - and not just to go anywhere as jejune as the union or the Roxy.

They go to the fabulous online world of Mysteria and battle dragons and knights.

And they don't waste their time in any old pub - they go to a Tavern - where they can be sent on more mighty quests.
That reminds me... I need to head back to Rivendale to mine some Mithril ore in order to restore my crystal spectral battle sword...
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