10 Things You Learn as an International Student

Dina El Kadi, MCM Candidate, Class of 2015

So, you’ve decided to travel across the globe to get an MCM degree from USC? It’s definitely a tough transition to make, trust me I know. But there are some experiences, confusing situations and realizations that we all share whether we’re from China, Canada, or Egypt. Like why the heck are there so many forms for every single choice we make? I-20, H1B, F1…It’s endless! After my first few months in Los Angeles, I noticed that there were 10 things that I learned on my crazy transition to USC and Los Angeles:

1. You learn that the question “Where are you from?” requires a ten minute explanation. 


2. Jetlag is possibly the worst thing in the world, especially during the day when you try oh-so-hard to keep those eyes open but…

3. Costco is a magical place for students.

4. Google Maps becomes your best friend.

5. You want to high-five a professor when they pronounce your name correctly.


6. You learn Skype backwards and forwards and despite your efforts, it is somehow a challenge to connect with your loved ones EVERY SINGLE TIME. 

7. WhatsApp is the most amazing app.

8. When hitting OIS, you learn to carry every possible document they could ask for “just in case.”

9. Finding food from your home country that tastes even slightly as great as you remember is way harder than you thought it’d be.

10. You have a computer app with way too many time zones for all of your family members and friends around the world.