If you’ve been reading my blog before, you probably know that I am an international student and that this is not my first time studying abroad. I came from Spain some months ago to complete a post-baccalaureate certificate in Marketing and since the first time I attended a class, I realized how different the system was. Students standing to introduce themselves in front of their classmates, professors encouraging participation… something completely new to me.
When I graduated from my Spanish University (after spending a year abroad studying in Paris), I knew this experience in the US would be challenging too, and it’s been certainly difficult in some aspects. I had (still have) to deal with bureaucracy, phone calls and linguistic differences… but there’s something that I really love about my American colleagues: I never have to stress out when working in group projects, because they always get things done.
I don’t know if it’s because most of my classmates are either adult working professionals or international students like me that struggled to be there, but the truth is that they always do what they are supposed to do.
I had worked with my Spanish and French classmates many times before and done lots of group projects as well… but always had to deal with some group member disappearing or finding some pretext to run away from their responsibilities. This is true to the point that working in groups with them would become a nightmare (working extra-hours to finish what a classmate didn’t finish, waiting for someone to deliver something in the last minute, arguing… and on and on).
I’m shocked that nothing like this has happened to me since I started attending my University in San Francisco almost six months ago (and I’ve done a lot of group projects so far…) but my classmates here are way more flexible and responsible.
Back in Spain and even more often in France, my classmates (mostly in their twenties) would always find the perfect excuse in them having a job to never get things done on time, like if having a job would exclude them from their student duties. I have never had any problem working with Americans. I have never heard a classmate making that kind of excuses, but again, it may have to do with the fact that they are mostly adults. I don’t know.
What do you think? Have you had a similar experience or do you think that my experience is just an exception?