Advice to international students

Delivered to international graduate students on orientation day.

On why we are all here:

“Do you guys all know Susan Boyle? The middle aged singer? You do? Good. You guys are just like her. She had a dream. You have a dream. You all came to America because you have a dream.”

On the highs and lows of university life:

“It’s not going to be sunny every day. It is going to rain. We (the international student centre) are your umbrella. We are the boots to keep you dry. Come and see us when it rains.”

On greetings:

“When Americans walk down the street and say ‘Hi, how’re you doing?’ this actually means, “I am very busy right now and don’t want to stop and talk to you’. They are not expecting you to tell them about your day.”

On invitations

“Sometimes Americans will say to you at the end of a conversation, ‘Hey, let’s do lunch some time’. It is important to remember that they probably don’t mean it. They just mean that having lunch together is a nice idea. It will never happen.”


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