Studying in a new country or culture is typically an exciting experience. It is an opportunity to live and study in a new environment, to learn new skills, to broaden viewpoints and perspectives, and to become more independent. It can also cause us to think about ourselves in new and different ways.
Many people do not consciously think about facets of their identity on a regular basis. Living in a new environment often prompts people to re-examine their identity, including what assumptions they make about gender, sexuality, race, nationality, religion, ethnicity and other factors. This process of evaluating ourselves in the context of another culture may make us feel uneasy at times. Thankfully, we can learn from others who have been through this process of adjustment. Students and faculty will discuss issues of identity and cultural adaptation in greater detail in the class INTD 199: International Student Success in the U.S. All first-year international students are strongly encouraged to take this class during their first semester at Earlham.