You are strong, a letter to every international student

I know what you’re thinking. I know what I would be thinking if I was about to come to England or any country to study abroad. I am not stronger than any of the home students, I am not 100% fluent, I don’t understand their humor (to be honest, you won’t even after living there for two years, it’s a really special humor), I have never written a full dissertation in English, I don’t even know how to write a dissertation in English. Well at least that was what I was thinking on my first day. Hopefully, I am not the only one.

Firstly, take a deep breath, you are not on your own.

Secondly, just let me tell you a story. I know how hard it is when you first arrive at University to get out of your comfort zone to make friends and get involved, but I also know how much harder it is when you come from a different country. It’s been two years now and I try my best every day to try new things and get involved and I am so happy I do.

For the next year, I have the privilege to represent all international students in Loughborough and to help them have the best time they can here at Loughborough but this didn’t come to me without hard work. There were bad days when I just wanted to go home but most of the days I was just so happy I decided to leave France.

So yes you will have to put hard work in, you will have to get out of your comfort zone, you will have to google words probably every hour of every day at first, you will have to smile and pretend you understand even when you don’t but it’s okay because you are an international student.

You do have to work harder than everyone else, that is for your academic and social life but let me remind you something. You are so brave to come and study in another country, you speak two languages (or more!), you are special because you are like no one else (I mean you do come from a different country and have your own culture) and finally, the annoying one, you are “cute” or “cool” because you have a different accent.

So please, everytime you have a bad grade, or someone makes fun of your accent, or it’s just harder for you to get involved, just remember that it will be okay and that you are strong, probably stronger than most of the people at university.

Oh, and yes, it’s okay if you still make grammar mistakes. I mean, I do.

Yours,
Salomé