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Journy between Two Different Worlds

262 views 4 pages ~ 881 words

Having spent my major and secondary education in Kuwaiti, the scholarship to Newark Delaware came as a relief. I was excited with the prospect of venturing into a new existence in a foreign country. Coming from a small country with a population of much less than three million people and my native language being Arabic, I did not anticipate the challenges that awaited me in Newark Delaware. However, I was once determined to achieve my dreams and prosper in my tutorial endeavors.
The process of adjustment as an international student used to be characterized by various shifts in my behavior, beliefs, values as properly as cultural identity as a result of meeting with different students and teachers from a different culture. At first, I often thought that my fellow students who were Americans were not being open as well as welcoming to me. Therefore there are instances where I experienced prejudice, discrimination, and racism. These situations impacted me and my experience of living amidst the Newark DE culture as well as a community. I interacted with the existing environment from a typical newcomer perspective.

Notably, I was aware that my tenure at Newark DE was often temporary, therefore, during my first few weeks, I did not put up a fight in trying to interact with my fellow students and familiarize myself with their culture. I only expressed enthusiasm in activities that would facilitate successful attainment of my education. However, even in the most fundamental activities that I was required to participate, I still experienced significant difficulties. There are instances where I had struggles to participate orally in various classroom activities due to my confidence as well as a preference for communication styles. Further, there are instances where I had difficulties in using the available facilities within the school setting as well as outside the school. Making friends and developing a good rapport between my lectures also proved to be a daunting task. All these challenges were mainly prompted by language barriers as well as a culture that I was accustomed to. I study in a language that is not my native tongue. Therefore, my low proficiency in spoken English generated stress.

My struggles to adjust to the Newark DE culture while maintaining a strong sense of my Kuwaiti cultural identity often proved futile. Therefore, I realized that my attitude also played an important role in increasing my adjustment stress. I experienced cognitive fatigue disorientation and difficulty in concentrating. Moreover, I also experienced difficulties psychologically ranging from feelings of being isolated, homesickness, loss, sadness, and frustration.

The turning point came when my feelings of hopelessness coupled with helplessness led to depression. It is then I realized that I was taking the wrong path in adjusting to my new environment. After weeks of retreating into my personal cage, I resolved to embrace diversity and acknowledge the culture of Newark DE and that of its people. It is then that I realized that factors such as independence, autonomy, competition as well as privacy were highly valued in the Newark culture. By emulating the Newark culture, I realized that diverse groups contain various abilities as well as skills and knowledge that people in the group present to the table. Through developing connections and using complementary abilities skills as well as knowledge of the group, has helped me understand my fellow students and instructors better, complete the tasks and reach their goals.

Through emulating diversity, I have experienced immense success in not only in the education setting but also in recreation and leisure settings. Through interacting with other students, I realized that groups performing decision-making tasks make higher quality decisions if they are more diverse. Therefore, I concentrated on seeing the brighter side of the new culture rather than criticizing its flaws. While engaging in diverse groups, I have realized that I was not familiar as others were in the context, information as well as the nature of the decision to be reached. However, even though I kept asking seemingly naïve questions, these queries enabled me to clarify the context of the findings to all group members. My efforts to socialize and interact with others also had its challenges, in many cases, there were communication problems, lack of cohesiveness, as well as resistance to change. However, my new perspective prepared me to face such problems.

Ultimately, embracing the American culture as well as diversity has proved to work well for me. The tolerant attitude that I have assumed has changed my academic and social life. I have been able to attract talented friends while improving my academia efforts. Further, engaging in group activities without the fear of being rejected by others has made us be creative and come up with better decisions ultimately increasing my flexibility. As a young person from Kuwaiti, I had only one mission, to study hard and return to my mother country with beautiful academic credentials. However, I am now comfortable in the new culture having adjusted well and made good friends. Ultimately, I have mastered the art of thinking and acting from a global perspective and not just from ethnic culture. Studying in abroad has acted as an eye opener, I hope to use the skills I have gained in Newark Delaware to benefit not only myself but the whole world.

July 24, 2021




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