The first week of school, to be veracious, I am not exhilarated as I expected before. As the only Asian in all of my classes, I feel consider myself as a 100% alien. More importantly, it was also because most of them knew each other from PREREQUISITE courses while I jump to 400/500 level class.
So I understand why some of them can talk to everyone else around them except me. But when you are in a discussion group where people talk to each other and focus on their words, but never look at you with their eyes. At that time, my feelings are ineffable. I recognize it is ineluctable in my other high-level classes. Sometimes it makes me feel inept to fit in this group. it puts me in a pensive mood: why this happens? I don’t want to simply call the reason”Prejudice”.
In my opinion, there are some reasons behind it. First of all, their stereotypes toward Asians engender their impressions on Asian. Secondly (more important factor I hope), most of the people prefer to talk with someone that has a similar background as them, which make their conversation easier. But unfortunately, they learn less because people they talk with already have a similar mindset (somewhat they conform to their thought pattern). Furthermore, people intend to parry embarrassing themselves and international students. Because there are cultural differences among countries, they are not sure what is appropriate to ask that will not offend international students. Last but not least, it is all about actions and reactions, that is, if international students are taciturn at the beginning of the class, people no matter where they are from will give a tepid response to the international students because they assume international students don’t want to talk. So it is hard for both international students and the local students to find a way breaking the iceberg.
My own idea to overcome this hindrance is not to let others shackle or lead you. If you want to earn a friendship with local students, then introduce yourself first and make people pay attention to your ideas, not your accents!