The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Getting Along with ALIENS

Posted by iusbvision on August 27, 2007

When the new semester starts and you may be excited to meet new friends—maybe you will meet future girlfriends or future husbands this semester. Relationship opportunities are everywhere, so you start looking around on campus. Girls are pretty in their boots, boys are nice in their shirts with ketchup stains, and foreign students are wandering on the campus.   

Suddenly you realize that there are so many international students—African, Asian, European, and South American—especially after a certain amount of time when the library and Student Activity Center become virtual immigration offices—maybe you even feel that you are an isolated minority in those places.  

For summer semesters, international students (more than 80 students from over 25 countries) study at Indiana University South Bend. However, you may want to know why they study in South Bend—a small, quiet city in the middle of America—Why not somewhere else, perhaps Notre Dame or other universities in the Californian weather?    

There are a couple reasons why many international students come to study at this IU branch and stay in South Bend. One of the more popular reasons is deals with their financial issues. Most students have a limited budget because of expensive non-residence tuition and other living costs.  

For international students, it is reasonable to stay in South Bend. For example, student housing like a dorm at IUSB costs about four hundred dollars per month including all utilities. It may be a little expensive compared to local apartments in South Bend; however, some dorms in other state universities may cost more than six hundred dollars per month. Moreover, as do domestic students, they have other living expenses, so it is obviously quite reasonable to stay in South Bend.   

Many international students are drawn to the renowned programs at IUSB such as the Toradze Piano Studio and the other excellent music programs. Future world famous musicians study at IUSB and they usually perform in New York City, Rome, and the other beautiful cities around the world. However, there are always free concerts for students, performed by our most talented musicians almost every weekend on the IUSB campus. Those schedules are available at the Box Office in Northside.

Moreover, extremely talented students participate in MBA programs, and become computer and science majors. They study and receive great transfer opportunities to Bloomington and other universities. Unfortunately, MBA programs at IUSB do not have concentrated programs like Bloomington does; however, it is still a great start for international students. After graduation and studying at IUSB, international students open their business as entrepreneurs and they are very successful, such as the owner from Thailand at Club Noma in downtown South Bend.     

In addition to the above, there is a language school, the South Bend English Institute, which is attached to this campus. After graduation from the institute, most students choose to continue studying at IUSB because they do not have to take complicated entrance exams like English tests for foreign students. Of course there are many other unique reasons for each international student.

For both American and international students, it is a great opportunity to share campus experiences.  They may have communication difficulties when they meet for the first time, but the reward for being patient can be lasting. Ployngarm Rasmeefueng, who is an MBA graduate from Thailand said, “If each person has patience and wants to communicate, there is always a way to get along with people from all over the world.”  

All people may feel like aliens because of different family backgrounds, environments, and cultures.  Once past those hesitations, they become more international and communicate person to person, and their lives may become livelier. Have a great semester exchanging cultural experiences at IUSB!

Naoko Fujimoto

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