domingo, 26 de julho de 2020

Version 2.083

I first came to the U.S. almost 25 years ago, as an F-1 student. The classes did not seem too difficult, but the way students engaged with the professors and even schoolwork was completely different. Almost all the classes required some sort of research paper, when you'd go to the library, find the information and write about it. It was all a lot more creative. The teachers didn't tell you what to do and they mostly focused on how you should do it--form mattered a lot more than ideology. Anyway, I really enjoyed the process.

Then there was living in the U.S., having to manage money, working a part-time job, having friends from all over the world, many of whom I still keep in touch with. We also had to be involved in the community. I was Judicial Board Co-Chair and Co-President of the Diversity Group in my residential hall. All of us were extraordinarily different, and yet each of us contributed something to make it work as a community.

The older students served as mentors, people checked on each other, we'd borrow each other's computers, which back then were not as ubiquitous as now. When there was a holiday or a break, American students would invite the international students to go home and meet their families. And there was always something interesting going on: concerts at coffee shops, movie night, bar crawls, trips to the lake to watch shooting starts in October, or to go skinny dipping...

I cannot help but feel sadness for all the international students whose lives have been led astray by the pandemic, now that ICE has chosen to not allow international students to stay in the U.S. if their classes are online. Studying here is so much more that just having classes. It is truly finding yourself and becoming an adult. I hope these young people can get back to their lives soon.

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