By Harry Pearse
As school starts, students from all over the world come to this picturesque and modern campus, LIU Post. I’ve seen Chinese, Japanese, English, Welsh, Indian, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Spanish, Italian students and a student from Australia. This shows the diversification of students at Post, allowing a multi-cultured vibe and atmosphere anywhere you go on campus. I am from London, England and have recently joined this ship of adventure, which is going to sail me through college life in the USA.
In this issue of The Pioneer, I am going to discuss the changes and sacrifices that international students, such as myself, have made in order to pursue this dream of studying in the huge and fascinating country known as America.
First things first: the flight. Flying to America from England is a long journey. This country feel’s humongous, and a six-hour plane journey, which is what my travel time was when I left London Heathrow for JFK, is an extremely tedious process.
During that plane journey, as well as the numb bum and tired legs, the thoughts and feelings I had were extremely mixed. For five minutes I was buzzing with excitement. The transition of this venture is crazy. I look at myself and think, you’re confident, you’ll get to grips with the change easy; and many people that know me would think the same. However, I have actually – believe it or not – found it difficult to settle into the change of moving countries, and I can only imagine how other international students who aren’t as self-assured as I am must feel, and I admire their courage and ability to cope with such hard feelings.
If you are an international student that’s reading this and is actually contemplating throwing in the towel, think again – because I won’t let you. There are so many other people, such as myself, who are going through the same phase, and it is just a phase.
Since I have made the journey “over the pond,” I have spoken to a lot of my teammates on the Pioneers men’s soccer team. Our team is full of international students, who have all had to sacrifice or experience the tough feelings of such big change, in one way or another. One player who I have spoken to quite a lot about the move is 23-year-old Tom Bowen, a graduate student and a pivotal figure in the men’s soccer team success in the 2013 ECC championship campaign. Bowen is from Aberdovey, Wales, and had a tough time at the beginning of his international student life. I found speaking to someone who was on the same “boat” as me last year has helped me feel more settled in, and is helping me to feel more at home in my new surrogate country.
Your comment to what I have just said would be: “But Harry, I haven’t got a team or squad who can help me. Who can I talk to?!” My answer to that would be “yes, you do.” LIU Post has thousands of international students who feel the same exact way as you do, and they need you to share your fears and trepidations of this terrifying and exciting journey through college.
Sororities and fraternities, as well as all the other various clubs, are at your disposal. The front desk at Hillwood has every bit of information available for you. Just ask! Success Coaches are also great, as they’ve been through the college experience already and are ready and willing to help in any way that they can. So make some new friends, and let’s enjoy this electrifying experience together.