Corentin from France is starting his second year as an international student in the USA and shares his thoughts with future international students in this open letter.
“My name is Corentin, I am 20 years old, and I am starting my second year at Moravian College. I write today a short letter for all of you having a last drink with your friends, a last dinner with your family or desperately trying to close your over-packed suitcases (because mom wants you to take enough medicine to survive 3 lifetimes, and dad has already stuffed bread and sausage in between your clothes). It’s not easy to leave. This mix of excitement, “nostalgia” because the summer went too fast, but also many questions, some important but others that seem so simple and straightforward that we don’t dare to ask! I had already left when I was 15, and I chose to leave again because from my perspective, an experience such as this one brings you maturity, and above all an open mind.
In my experience, my first year was a real success, with a group of friends I can’t wait to see again, the nicest and most welcoming campus staff, and an atmosphere I particularly appreciate. To go abroad is above all to know that in order to live this adventure to the fullest, you will have to open up your mind, but also to show courage at certain times, as it is not always easy to move somewhere where the culture is so different, and let’s be honest, there will be some hard times. But believe me, you will live an experience that will change your life, that will change how you see things, that will change who you are on so many levels. I think the important thing to keep in mind when leaving for another country is to try. Don’t lose what makes you “Frenchie” (this will be your nickname for a while, believe me!), but be open, never turn someone down who is inviting you to join for an activity. Whether you’ve traveled 7,000 or 300 kilometers, to change your environment is not easy, and it will take a bit of time to feel at home. It’s hard to put into words what you feel when you travel abroad, but you can be sure that going back home will be as hard and leaving it. If you ever need help, don’t hesitate to ask around you, many will be happy to help you. And if you’re looking for an espresso like we drink it here: good luck!
Good luck to you all, and I hope that in a few months, you will understand what I have shared with you in this letter with a smile on your face when remembering how nervous you were at the airport.
P.S.: Bring active wear, 24/7 fast food can be dangerous, I tell you!
Corentin, Class of 2020”
Note: This post is a translation of the student’s original letter to future international students which can be found here.