International college students face many challenges

by Yielleen St Amour, Business Administration ’14
International student from Haiti

When you decide, after high school in your home country, to come to the United States to get a better higher education, guess what???You will face many challenges related to being an international college student. On top of that, you have to learn the language, ENGLISH.

As an international college student at Florida Tech or any other U.S. institution for that matter, life can be pretty challenging and you sometimes feel overwhelmed. You will find yourself far away from friends and family while having to accommodate to a new culture, a new language and a completely different lifestyle. Trying to understand classes taught in a second language while still learning how to speak the language properly is part of the challenge of being an international college student.

Now, you may be asking yourself “who is she to be talking like that about international college students?” Well, I’ll tell you. I am Yielleen St Amour, an international student at Florida Tech since Spring 2011; I am from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I am majoring in Business Administration, and day after day I am faced with what I call the “international life.” The experience I am getting as an international college student, after all, is once in a lifetime. International students, while away from home, learn about themselves and discover their capacities for doing extraordinary things.

Never get discouraged! You are not alone.  Make English your first language, not your second one, by understanding in English not by translating in your mind. You are learning in English; therefore, you have to consider it as your first language. When you go back to your country, it will then become your second language.

When you feel down, look around on Florida Tech’s campus to see that you are surrounded by international students facing the same “international life.” There is also plenty of support, just visit the International Student and Scholar Services office which offers cultural programs designed to assist you in adjusting to life in the United States and at Florida Tech.


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