THINGS I'VE LEARNT GOING TO UNI WITH INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

12 January 2017

Written by Marc Lamberts
for Daily Focal

As an Arts & Culture at Maastricht University I go to university with a lot of different people from different countries and nationalities. My university is in Maastricht in The Netherlands and our faculty has more than 30 different nationalities. They always said it would benefit me greatly to be in touch with different people from different countries, but now I know why they said that!
Here are 5 things I’ve learnt going to university with international student:

  
1. Languages
On an international campus the number one language is English, because it’s the language we all learn and can speak/write. But being surrounded with Germans, French, Spanish people, I learnt to speak those languages better as well. It’s a lovely mix of so many languages and it’s great to learn little words or sentences and really feel the passion that goes with it.

2. Food 
I don’t like most of the food and drinks from the Netherlands to be honest. The best thing you can do, is make friends with people from abroad and have food with them. Nothing creates a better bond between people than food and I can assure you, you will learn so much from the food you taste. You learn how to cook/bake differently, use and eat different ingredients and learn new combinations of food.

3. Sports
Just like food you can interact with one’s culture by attending sport matches or get involved yourself in those sports. Every country, nation and group of people has its own set of sport they love and excel at. It’s through my university experiences that my love for cricket, rugby and tennis has grown over the years. It’s the best thing ever to talk about people about sports and see how passionate people are about it.

4. Appreciating different values
I think one of the most misunderstood and underestimated things you can learn from other persons is appreciating values. We often have an idea of what is ethically or morally right, but we see it as something that is universal. There’s only one form of it. Well, I have learnt that there a lot of different set of values all over the world and I’m now able to understand and appreciate those more. In the end, if we accept and understand each other a bit better, the world will be a better place to live in.

5. Global citizen
The world is more connected than ever. We have easy access to transport and Internet, that enables us to interact with people all over the world. But to feel like you are a global citizen, that is something else entirely. My experience with being surrounded with international students, is that I really felt like a global citizen for the first time. And to be honest, it feels pretty sweet!

We'd love to know...
Did you have any experiences with international students at your Uni?
If so, what kind of experiences?
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