Tag Archives: international student

Working with Americans

Why I Love Working With Americans

Working with Americans

Working with Americans (via flic.kr)

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?

Study Abroad

5 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad

If you are one of those “I’d like to study abroad but I don’t think I can do it” people, let me tell you not only why you actually can, but also why you should go to study abroad.

I’ve been an international student myself in two different occasions. The first time, I went to Paris as part of a European student exchange program called Erasmus. The second one, I came to California to improve my English and decided to enroll at the University .

Going to study abroad was probably the best decision I made in my life. It was difficult but definitely worth it.

I used to be one of those people afraid of traveling alone or having to do things all by myself but now that I’m enjoying the experience, I can promise this is the perfect opportunity for:

Learning a Language

In a globalized world, companies want to work with people who speak different languages and that are able to adapt quickly to new environments.  Don’t be afraid of change, you don’t need to be fluent in a foreign language to study in another country. If you have a previous knowledge and you feel like you can get it with a bit of effort, then you’re ready to go. You don’t need to understand every single word of what the people say and there’s no reason to panic. Managing yourself it’s easier than you think. Time and practice will make you improve, although you will need to work on it.

Facing New Situations

Do you think going to study abroad is scary? Not at all. Educational institutions all over the world have been offering international student programs for decades and they are more than ready to help you with any kind of problem you may have. You won’t be the only international student abroad. There will be tons of people like you ( from your country too), so you won’t be alone… and after all, you’ll realize living abroad is not as though as you think.

study abroad cooking

My first dinner with some Italian students

The very first time I went to study abroad (a Summer in Canada) I was afraid of how being away from home would be, but what happened was that I ended up surrounded by many other Spaniards studying English just like me. We were so many that we couldn’t get rid of each other! and that wasn’t what we were looking for either… because when you go to study abroad, you want to experience new things. What’s the point otherwise?

Learning From Different Cultures

Getting yourself out of the bubble will make you open your mind to new ways of doing things and therefore, new ways of solving problems in everyday life. How do people from other cultures react to certain situations? What do they think about this and that? Get ready to open your mind and learn, learn, learn.

Getting a Job Faster

Believe it or not, studying abroad will help you boost your career. Why? Because having an international experience will make you stand out from the crowd and open new markets and global opportunities for you.

Getting to Know Yourself

This is just another consequence of living abroad. Being away from your family and friends has that advantage of having more time to spend on your own and, although this may sound boring… it’s actually a good meditation exercise to discover your thoughts and feelings, your hobbies and obsessions…

What are some other reasons you have to study abroad? Do you still think you don’t need to go anywhere?