Lyon College prides itself on being an international community that celebrates diversity. Students from around the world choose to immerse themselves in the Lyon College experience every year. These students’ unique cultural backgrounds color their encounters and experiences around campus, giving them one-of-a-kind perspectives on life as a Lyon Scot. I had the opportunity to speak with a few international students regarding the time they have spent in the United States and at Lyon.
Debjanee ‘Ocean’ Nandy is a freshman who intends to double-major in economics and math and to minor in computer science. She came to the United States from Bangladesh because of the liberal arts education system. Her favorite part of America is “the friendly people, but I hate how food goes to waste.” She really misses the food from her home country. Her favorite food is a mixed rice dish called biryani. Debjanee thinks that there is a misconception that “Everyone is rich in America, and I don’t think it’s true.” She also says that the education system is much more flexible in the United States than in Bangladesh.
Eric Koludrovic is an freshman from Switzerland who is still trying to figure out what he wants to study. He chose to come to the United States because he has “always dreamed of playing basketball and studying in America.” He says that his first semester here has been challenging–especially adapting to the language. Eric’s favorite part about Lyon is the gym, and he loves Mexican food. Although he really enjoys what he is doing at Lyon, he really misses his friends and family from back home.
Aika Endo is a junior global studies major from Japan. She loves Lyon because “the people are so kind and the campus is beautiful.” Her favorite food is sushi. She chose to come to the United States because of her “interest in America, which is regarded as the ‘center of globalization.’” Aika says that the most academically challenging part of her immersion experience has been the language; although she studied English in Japan, the application of the language is different in the real world than in the classroom. She loves how most Americans are so kind and confident, but her least favorite part about America is the poor quality of some services and goods. The university Aika attends in Japan is also a liberal arts school, so her academic experience at Lyon is somewhat similar to the one she encountered back home.
From speaking with Debjanee, Eric, and Aika, a few things stood out to me. Both Debjanee and Aika mentioned that the people in America are generally kind and friendly. Though each student that I interviewed is from a different part of the world, they all described facing similar challenges as international students, especially language barriers. It is important to acknowledge our differences while still remembering that, at the end of the day, we are all Lyon College Scots.