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The life of an international student

Updated: Jan 17, 2019

As an international student myself, it is safe to say that one’s experiences can be a roller coaster of doubt, euphoria, content, fear, gratefulness and pure happiness.

It has been a bit over a year since I moved to the United States from Guyana to attend Salisbury University, and what an amazing experience it has been so far. I have acted in plays, joined clubs, performed at concerts, developed good relationships with my professors and started friendships with many incredible people.

I’ve conducted a Q&A with another international student, Phone Depar Min, in order to get another perspective on the experience of being an international student here at SU.

Phone Depar Min, or “Depar,” as his friends call him, is a senior at Salisbury University. 

Hailing from the beautiful country of Myanmar, Depar studies communication arts with a minor in business and professional writing.

I recently sat down with Depar in Fulton Hall to ask him his perspective on the kindling questions that others may have about international students. 

Q: What made you choose Salisbury University?

A: Well, I mean it’s small, it’s compact, and I’m from a big city, so I just wanted a change in scenery, I guess. Plus, it wasn’t as expensive as a lot of other colleges.

Q: So, just to be clear – you’re graduating next spring?

A: I have eighteen credits left, so yes.

Q: What do you think is the biggest difference between living in the United States and living in Myanmar?

A: There’s a lot less potholes! And less corruption – in terms of, for example, I didn’t have to bribe the police officers to help me here when someone stole my bike.

Q: What is the biggest issue you have being an international student at Salisbury University?

A: I can’t really think of anything. What about you?

Q: Me? I don’t think I have any issues.

A: Maybe I have small issues, I’m not even sure, ha! Oh! I just thought of one. My bike got stolen. I guess another issue is a personal one – Americans are much friendlier, so I might appear a little standoffish when they greet me. I’m usually just caught off guard.

Q: Name a couple things that make your experience here awesome.

A: The people I meet. Oh, and I’ve definitely gotten better at cooking since I got here. 

Q: Within the international community – among the other international students – do you feel welcomed?

A: Definitely!

Q: Do you have more international friends or more American friends?

A: It really depends. A lot of my international friends have transferred, so that side is a bit scarce right now.

Q: But all in all, how has your experience here been?

A: It’s been a crazy ride. But I’m loving every second of it.

I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with Depar. It’s been one heck of a ride so far, but because there’s so much to gain from it, the only thing you could do is buckle up and hold on tight.

Thank you, Salisbury University for being a safe and friendly environment for students who are far away from home.



Staff writer

Featured photo: Phone Depar Min, or “Depar,” is a senior international student at SU (Reese Vandyke image).

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