10 Things An International Student
Wants You To Know
by Scott King
1) If I don't seem to understand what you said, please tell me again in a voice which is clearer and slower, but not louder.
2) My name may seem unusual to you, but it is important to me. Please try to learn how to pronounce it properly, and don't give me an "American" nickname.
3) If you are giving me instructions on how to get something done for myself, please write them down step by step. Then I should be able to do it right the first time.
4) If I'm just responding "yes" to what you say, I'm probably only affirming that I hear you. This doesn't mean I understand what you are telling me, so please ask me - in a different way -- about what you are telling me to be sure I understand.
5) If I seem unusually rude or brisk to you, I am probably just nervous. This is all new, different and sometimes overwhelming to me; but, with your kindness, patience and understanding, I'll stop worrying.
6) My country and heritage are as important to me as the United States is to you. As you don't want me to criticize the United States, please have the same consideration of my home.
7) Don't be afraid to ask me about my country, family or customs. I want to share my uniqueness with you, and I won't act like you're stupid if you don't know about my background.
8) Don't finish my sentences for me. Although using English everyday is new to me, I need the practice to develop my skills.
9) If you don't understand my English, ask me to repeat what I've said until you do. If you think you know what I've asked, rephrase the question and ask me if that is what I meant.
10) Please remember that I am first and foremost a student here and want to fit in like everyone else. I don't need special favors, just an equal chance.