Hawai’i is often called the melting pot, because we have such a diverse population. There’s so many cultures on our islands. I like to think that I see snippets of different types of people just by living in Hawaii. But being around 60 international students, it’s fascinating to me how different things are. Just as simple as the vocabulary we use or our accent and the way we pronounce things. College vs. Uni, Vacation vs. Holiday, etc. There are students in my program from Michigan, North Carolina, Florida, Canada, Australia , Scotland, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Mexico, Brazil, Philippines, Israel, and much more that I can’t remember from the top of my head.
We all come from such unique places and are so interesting in learning / hearing about what their home is like.
I know that America is strange, does things weird and doesn’t always make sense. But it’s still shocking to hear. For example, our educational system. In the UK, they have Primary School and then 5 years of High School. After high school, they need to take a 2 years of A-Levels before heading off to university. In Australia, they aren’t allowed to leave the first and 30 minutes of class At UH Hilo, people may come and go as they please.
With international students, most speak at least one other language. I find that so cool, and am kind of jealous because it would be so useful to have the ability to speak another language. While getting a SIM card, the worker didn’t speak English. We all don’t speak French, but the worker did speak Spanish. So, one of my classmates was able to communicate with her in Spanish.
Our program really encourages us to meet new people. A lot of students came in groups from their university. So, our program tries to split them up as much as possible. But they still manage to stick together. For us soloists, we have no choice but to step outside our comfort zone and meet new people. That’s the only what we’ll know anyone. By talking to them, I learned that we shared some of the same struggles come here, getting lost, etc.
I look for to meeting new people and hearing their opinions on topics we may discuss because I’m sure our point of views are all so different.
Tita – World Traveler!!! So interesting that like you mention Hawaii is the melting pot of the Pacific yet, there is a Whole Other World out there! I am happy that you stepped outside of your comfort zone and met other people from different parts of the world! So many differences in our cultures yet, we are all the same. One humanity that can live in harmony if only we try harder. The French are famously known as being snobs but it is what it is. The main thing is that we hold on to our belief system of pono and aloha….and we’ll manage to get along just fine.
Again Tita, I am so happy and proud of you for taking those incredible courses and traveling to Europe to learn and explore what lies beyond the shores of Hawaii!!!