Because Lindenwood University has a large percentage of international students, they are a significant group of the student population. They are pursuing a degree in a country where the language spoken is not their native tongue, the culture is not familiar, and the people behave differently. These distinctions, though at times welcoming because it is indeed unknown and mysterious, can be overwhelming to deal with at times.
If this is happening to college students that do not have to adapt to a new environment, then what is happening to students that must endure great changes?
In LU’s case, the answer is simple. International students find comfort in surrounding themselves with other students that speak the same native language. The majority of international students here believe that they can relate better to the people with the same culture and language. The goal of studying and improving a language they are still becoming familiar with takes a backseat to the reassurance of finding common ground with their fellow countrymen.
There are 24 hours in a day, six to eight of which are spent sleeping, two to three of which are spent eating, and three to four that are spent in class listening to a lecture. That leaves roughly about nine to 13 hours available to orally interact with other students.
I am Mexican-American and am bilingual. I spend maybe two to three hours interacting (this includes both listening and speaking) English in one day. For other internationals, the number may reach four to five depending on the number of students that speak their native language in their classes.
According to Antonio Graceffo, author of the article “Activating your foreign language” published on www.foreignpolicyjournal.com, states that the key behind learning a foreign language is to listen, read, and study that language several hours a day.
If international students fail to interact with American students, their proficiency in the English language will not progress and the purpose of studying and earning a degree in an American university is fruitless.The following video focuses on the benefits of an American degree abroad.