Things All International Students Understand

You may be the only person from your country to be here, or one of 15 or even 20. You’ve made it through visa interviews and figuring out inventive ways to stuff your luggage. You’re finally at Yale! The struggle isn’t over, but there are incredible times ahead.

1. Arriving jet-lagged after a ridiculously long flight/multiple layovers

It’s a miracle you’re still alive after going through customs, staying four hours at a random airport, spending 16 hours on a plane, waiting for luggage and shuttles…


2. Crushing on your OIS counselor

This is where you put the “Counselors Tell All” segment to good use. Because, let’s face it, you could ask about where the best restaurants are or how to tell the frats apart. But the real opportunity here is to find out who’s single and free Saturday night.


3. Seeing your OIS counselor at a party for the first time

Especially interesting if it’s the counselor from #2 😉


4. Turning up at ISO parties and…

Refer to #3


5. Eating the food of your country while not in your country

Whether that’s in the dining halls or some random restaurant on Elm Street, you cringe every time. I mean seriously, is “Turkey Stir Fry” really supposed to be Asian when the closest Turkey to Asia is the actual country. “Bean Frijole” is just repetitive. And “Middle Eastern Chicken Pieces” is probably the vaguest name ever.


6. Dropping hints for a Thanksgiving invitation

“So Thanksgiving sounds cool…You know I’ve never had turkey before! Unbelievable right?! I’d love to try it sometime soon *wink*. Too bad I can’t go back home for Thanksgiving. It’s nice you live so close, right around New York! I hope I don’t get too lonely in our suite, just by myself…Pumpkin pie seems amazing too. Wait, you’re inviting me to your place for Thanksgiving?! No, that’s too much to ask! But I guess if you insist, when should I pack my bags?”


7. Meeting some of your closest friends at OIS

Those 3AM chats pretty much meant you will be friends for a long time.


8. …Or being what feels like the only international not to go to OIS

But you still love your FOOT/FOCUS/Harvest/CC fam…and if you didn’t do a preorientation, then you love your extra week of summery bliss.


9. Buying plane tickets and crying over your bank account



10. Being mixed up with someone else from your country/of the same ethnicity as you are

No I’m Michelle and she’s Sophie.


11. Facetiming your family/friends/SO/etc

It’s especially hard if there’s a crazy difference and you have an essay due at midnight. But when you see their face and you start talking like you’ve never spent a day a part, it’s worth it.


12. Being stressed whenever you hear: F1 status, tax, SSN, deportation

*Can’t type due to anxiety*


13. Hearing Americans debate the presidential elections 24/7 and not being able to vote

TBH sometimes you’re just laughing on the inside at the whole mess.


14. Getting used to the drinking age and nightlife

Drinking age in your home country ranged from 16 to nonexistent, and the nightlife starts around the time Toad’s plays “Small Town Girl”.


15. Calculating time differences

You think you’ve got it down until daylight saving time kicks in.


16. Being a magnet for other internationals

You seem to have a sixth sense for internationals and will gravitate towards them in dining halls, parties, and lectures.


17. Feeling incredibly lucky to be a part of such an amazing community