Piedmont goes international

BY RIKI KUJANPAA, Contributing Writer

In college most kids suffer from being homesick, but just imagine going to school in a completely different country.

Here at Piedmont we have several international students, some who are unknown. International students face many problems with everyday life, such as different types of food, the climate and even the way we speak.

Sarah Sharp is a freshman theatre major here at Piedmont and a native of England.

Sharp explained how she ended up coming to Piedmont through Rotary Club, where she went through vigorous interviews before getting the opportunity to attend here.

“The hardest challenge for me at Piedmont is probably adjusting to the culture, which is surprisingly different from mine in England,” said Sharp.

Language barriers become a struggle for many international students, even Sharp.

“Although we all supposedly speak English, almost every day I learn a new word or I say something that nobody understands. For example, all I get is blank stares when I ask where the rubbish bin is or tell someone that I like their jumper. And I am equally bemused when people tell me they look ‘ratchet’ today or ask if I want a ride on their four-wheeler,” said Sharp.

Another international student hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada is freshman engineering Connor Macquarrie.

Coach Pete Manderano of the Piedmont men’s lacrosse team recruited Macquarrie to play at Piedmont, and though Macquarrie says he misses his home, he is ready to call Georgia home for the next five years.

Sharp also shares the same sentiment.

“It can be hard sometimes to be so far from home and friends and family, but it’s so worth it for such a fantastic opportunity to travel and explore different cultures,” said Sharp.

According to a University of New Hampshire study, international students tend to undergo a variety of challenges in their academic goals at universities overseas.

They experience social, physical and psychological stress as they adapt to living and studying in their new cultural environments.

Although international students come across many problems in their day-to-day lives, they also do seem to enjoy the challenge.

“Being an international student is so much fun. Even if you are bombarded with questions everyday, it makes you feel less guilty about asking the millions of questions in return, as pretty much everything is new or different,” said Sharp.