And the story goes..
How would you feel if you are being forced to move somewhere far away? Would you be afraid? Or would you be excited? As for me, I was afraid. The idea of having a new life frightened me. Am I going to have friends? Am I going to be an outcast? Would anyone understand me despite the fact that English is not my first language? Before I go into more details, let me tell you more about myself.
My name is Andrew. I was born in Indonesia and lived there for about 16 years. As I had mentioned earlier, I was forced to move to United States because my mom is remarried and I had no choice but to move along with her. Yes, I was afraid and was not ready yet. But today, I feel so thankful that I was forced to move here and I actually did move here. United States is really a great place to live. It has given me many opportunities, long lasting friends, and unforgettable memories.
For those of you who did not know, United States is known to be “a melting pot”. This literally could be translated into a place where a variety of races, cultures, or individuals assimilate into a cohesive whole. So how would that benefit us? Well, the answer is simple. Most Americans are very open-minded, they are willing to learn about other nations or at least having respect for different cultures. So you do not have to worry about people look down on you just because you are different. As for me, when I first moved here, I could blend really easy. I do look different for most of the people due to my Asian’s heritage, but people here respect that. They are willing to help me and they understand that English is not my first language.
I was (and still) amaze on how different United States and Indonesia are. I really do like these differences though, since I am always up for new things. It was a little bit rough adjusting to American food at first, because most of the portions are huge and most of foods are rice-free (speaking from Indonesian perspective where most food always including rice). United States is also very big on freedom, which is in my opinion, is pretty awesome since you can really express yourself. I honestly could not really think of anything I really dislike about America.
As for university, I am currently a student in University of Tennessee (UT) and I would like to say that it is a great school. UT offers a lot of programs that are specifically designed for minority students. UT also offers a lot of activities throughout the years so that you can experience many cultural events (and who knows, you might like at least one or two of them). I feel that if you want to have more friends and learn more about American culture, you need to step out of your comfort zone and participate in many events and join many organizations. I have joined numerous organizations so that I can meet more people and be more comfortable with the school itself. I highly recommend you to join the Asian American Association. This club has taught me a lot about different cultures in America and even in the Asian countries itself. And since most of the members here are from Asian descendant, you might feel more comfortable when you want to ask questions or helps.
I just want everyone to know that it is normal to be afraid when you are about to move somewhere far away. At the same time, I also encourage everyone to step out of your comfort zone and try out new stuff. America is a great place; it has tons of opportunities and new life experiences. America also offers a lot of programs and organizations that are made to help minority people like you and I. You should not be worried that people would look at you differently, because most of the people here are very concious and understanding. So come here and let you story…begins.
Living Abroad Stories – January – By Andrew Sah
And the story goes..
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