Wry Exchange


Indian Student with Tough Year
01-30-08, 11:48 pm
Filed under: Culture, Exchange Students, hosting, Inbounds Inbounds | Tags: ,

 “The Indian male is God’s most superior creature.”  

Oh my, what does an independent woman say to this?  “Husband, talk to him before I deck him.”   I’ve written before how much I love to see the changes and growth in the students during the year.  The boy who made that statement was being counselled for not fitting in-at  high school, with his host family, or with the other exchange students.  

 It was his third month here in the states, and NO ONE liked him.   He was loud, pushed his way into all conversations, was very opinionated, and laughed at his own unfunny observations.  He knew more about everything thn anyone.  He didn’t want to spend his own money, but felt free to ask other people to buy him things.  He also borrowed clothing from other exchange students but would carelessly forget the gloves or sweater behind, and not care.  

It took a lot of effort by many people to get him to assimilate.  He ended up with 5 host families.  They all tried their best.  We were all surprised.  All of our previous students from India have been great kids.  For lack of a better word, this boy was a clod.  He even rebuffed gentle hints about fitting in with his clothing.  (Think black old man dress shoes, white socks, and shorts to play volleyball.  He had tennis shoes, too.)  FES’s are usually pretty good about forming a tight bond within their group, but the kids just rolled their eyes when that boy started talking.

I have no idea what happened that the light finally turned on for him.  He quieted down, quit bragging, and became pleasant.  He thanked Husband and me for ‘putting up with me, and not giving up’ but it wasn’t us.  It was his doing.

By May, he said he loved it in the US, and he didn’t feel Indian anymore.  He finally succeeded, and became one of us.   Then he had to return home, and learn how to put his 2 halves together.  Reverse culture shock is even more difficult than the original culture shock.   We’re still in contact, and he says everything is great.  I think he just finally grew up.

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3 Comments so far
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Sounds like someone had a little “come to Jesus” talk with him. Sometime a healthy kick in the ass is all that is needed to open one’s eyes about the error of one’s ways. Many times looking at obnoxious behavior through an impartial third person’s eyes helps the understanding process speed along. It is worthwhile in the end.

Comment by GOD like

Where on earth did he get that statement, btw? I’ve head a lot of crap (believe me! – thank God not from my own husband though), but that’s a new one on me.

Comment by colorblindcupid

Okay – that’s “heard” a lot of crap. Not head. Time for bed now.

Comment by colorblindcupid




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