International Communications Media Student Shares Viewpoints

Posted on 4/20/2009 1:38:00 PM

International student Emebet Van Slobbe offered some insight into what it is like to view America as an outsider. Emebet was born in Ethiopia, but was raised in Heemstede, Holland. After leaving her home, she came to Indiana University of Pennsylvania in August 2008 as a Communications Media major.

Since she adjusted to the differences of America, specifically IUP, she explained some of the things that bothered her about the changes in her lifestyle. Aside from missing home-cooked meals and her friends, Emebet had to adapt to her new educational surroundings as well. She said that there was much more hand-on interaction between the students and professors in America than she had experienced at home. Emebet said that, academically, American colleges covered similar material as high schools in the Netherlands.

Socially, things are different here as well. She said that colleges in Holland are not made up of campuses; rather, friends live together in the city and travel to school from there. The basic grading scale in Holland differs from the American scale because they do not use letters. Holland’s scale uses numbers between 1 and 10, 1 being a failing grade and 10 being the best a student can do. Anything above a 5.5 is considered passing. The basic student social group is relatively similar in both countries.

Her favorite thing about America is having the ability to learn about another culture by travelling around the country. She misses the food from home the most. Her biggest annoyance in America is the drinking age, because in Holland the drinking age is sixteen.

(Content provided by Zachary Salopek.)