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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

How International students can adapt to a new culture

A wise man once said, “If you are in Rome, be like a Roman.”

Adapting to diversity is always the million-dollar question for international students who come abroad for studies or work.

I want this article to be a guide through the perspective of someone who has come from the same situation that many international students are in right now. It is certainly very confusing and difficult to attune yourself to a new culture that you have never witnessed. So, let’s take a look at the initial days of internationals, when they have just landed in this country and are seeing the fantasy realm that they have always dreamed for the first time. There are new colors, skyscrapers hiding under the clouds, opportunity and a new destination of their life.

People have different personalities. Some are very extroverted, which gives them the latitude to explore people and places and adapt very quickly, while some are introverted and prefer to take time before acting. The key to adaptation is communication and traveling. These strategies give you the tools to understand and explore a new place. To explore people, you have to start initiating conversations with strangers. I know it is very difficult for most of us to get up and go talk to strangers randomly; it takes a lot of grit because it can be out of people’s comfort zone. However, I would say it’s just a matter of communication. Don’t think about the reciprocation—just give it a try. What if your thoughts are holding you back from living a wonderful life with beautiful people all around?

So, reach out to people, introduce yourself and talk about something in common. Grow your network and connections. Make sure you connect with your network regularly— you can even make plans for weekends. Join different clubs and organizations. Though we have different native languages and might feel discomfort speaking English, never hesitate to speak up in public; that’s how you will learn. People here are very welcoming and polite, and I’m saying this from my personal experience.

Exploring is not only about communicating but also about traveling. The more you travel, the more you can explore the culture. We are in Boston right now, which is rich in history and architecture. Exploring this city will give a fantastic glimpse of how a colonial town turned into a beautiful American city! A perfect way to enjoy this place is going in groups. It can be a lot of fun, but you can also go out alone just to have some “me-time.” There are a lot of beautiful places that define Boston. My favorites are the Fan pier, Seaport, Boston Commons, Boylston Street, Downtown, Harvard, MIT, Charles River Esplanade, and Beacon Hill. On this note, I want to mention how beautiful the Beacon Hill neighborhood is; it’s definitely worth visiting during the fall.

I understand that most of the students think about the expenditures of travel and choose to stay back at their place—but you can manage these trips by cost-cutting in many areas, like not spending money on junk food when bored, stocking limited groceries and cutting out unnecessary expenses.

It is exciting to come out of our comfort zones and explore different people and places. It is not as difficult to adapt to the new world as we might think. It just depends on the small moves we make, and every move is progress.