Unforgettable Experiences in the U.S.
Problems faced by international students who come to the U.S. for the first time are not always easy to overcome. As one of them, I've found it very difficult to handle most of the problems I've encountered. I've experienced a very terrible culture shock that still makes me upset. As a student, I've found that the personal and cultural problems I experience may gravely affect my grades. The three major problems I've encountered deal with independence, homesickness, and loneliness, which really shocked me.
Since my culture is completely different from the U.S., I was very surprised and shocked by the U.S. way of doing things independently. For many years, I lived in a totally different culture; I was completely unprepared for American culture. For example, since I first came here in August 1990, I have had to do many kinds of work by myself which I had never done when I was in Indonesia, such as doing laundry, cleaning the bedroom, and getting up early in the morning. In Indonesia, I never had a hard time doing such things since everything was done by my servants. I concentrated on studying without being bothered by such things. On the contrary, the American way of doing everything independently has given me a hard time which, in effect, makes me think all the time about the sweet life I had in Indonesia. As a result, I always think about going back to Indonesia and can't concentrate on studying.
The second problem I face is loneliness. Since I am the only Indonesian student in this university, I can't share my feelings with someone from the same culture and language as mine-someone who can really understand me. So I have nobody to talk with, nobody to complain to, and nobody to share with. For example, as I have observed lately, many other international...