Funny Culture Shocks Galore!

Welcome Home Hoosiers poster at the airport

My first time in the US was an exceptional experience, the people are welcoming and jovial, and the culture is rich and diverse. But there were differences that I spotted on the verbal side of things. I thought to myself, “Well I know English fairly well, I’ll be alright”. But there was quite a difference in the colloquial slang that I would love to share with any prospective international student–to save him/herself from the confusion of course!

Gif: Friends, Matt LeBlanc

Day 1: I, a shy boy, landed at O’Hare Airport. “Sir?” someone said. I didn’t think it was addressed to me, and I just continued to the baggage carousel. *Mind you this is my first experience in the US*. “SIR?!”, the sound persisted and I looked back at the screech. Turns out the woman was talking to me; she lent out her hand to give me my dropped wallet. I was overwhelmed. Firstly, my wallet! God Bless your soul! Secondly, “I’m not even eighteen, me? a SIR?” This idea persisted, life was different here, people are nicer, more welcoming. The kind woman even wished me a great day–wow she is genuinely nice. At this very moment, everything I was worried about University got thrown out the window. I was ready.

Gif: Let's Do This

Day 2: I had moved into Forest quad, arguably the home for the best food on campus. I went ahead to get some lunch at around noon time. Surely enough, I was a klutz: as I was waiting for my food at the counter I bumped into a girl, I was embarrassed. But then she gave me a casual “you’re fine”. Where I come from, the weight those words carries is something along the lines of ‘I find you attractive,’ so I was more than elated-I even blushed! It wasn’t until a local friend of mine explained it to me (while I may or may not have been bragging about the girl that found me “fine”) that I found the true meaning. Ahh, what a wonderful language English is.

I look good!

Skanda Madhusudan

Econ Consulting, Business Analytics major, Class of ‘21

Studying abroad for four years is normal for me. I love writing and talking about international experiences, economic issues, and health policies!

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