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International Students at UEM -Culture Shock?

Wendy . Blog Shakespeare slept here! Published 14 September 2011

Listen? Can you identify all those foreign languages being spoken on campus this year? Do you understand any of them?

Exchange students from dozens of countries have chosen UEM for their semester or year abroad and during our "Orientation Week for International Students" I got to meet several of them. Some happily discovered that there are many students from their home countries, others found themselves quite alone in the crowd and were very happy to make new friends. We talked about what courses and activities are offered on campus, and encouraged them to make lots of Spanish friends.

In the session about Culture Shock, they talked about how customs differ from country to country. The Mexican students said the Spanish food is too bland. They want to put "chile" on everything! And they are getting used to saying "vosotros" because they only use "ustedes" in Mexico. They are surprised by all the Spanish expressions like "tío" and "vale". The Northern Europeans and North Americans are surprised by all the kissing. Everywhere the foreign students looked, someone, just back from summer vacation, was hugging or kissing a friend or co-worker. What a friendly country! And not one kiss, but 2!
Erasmus, Garcilaso, Laureate..... Welcome to all the UEM exchange students!

Wendy

Vocabulary:

foreign: extranjero
exchange: intercambio
chosen: choose/chose/chosen: eligir
abroad: en el extranjero
quite alone: bastante solo
crowd: muchedumbre
courses: asignaturas
offered: ofrecido
encouraged: animaro
culture shock: choque cultural
customs: costumbres
food: comida
too bland: demasiado so-so
getting used to +(verb) ing: acostumbrarse a
kissing: besos
hugging: abrazos
welcome: bienvenido

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Comments (3)
Julien Rose (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

Hi, I´ll be attending this university next year as an exchange student. Is there a language exchange group at the university or something like that? I´ve seen there are some in downtown Madrid, but I haven´t found anything on campus.

Anónimo (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

Hi Julien, Hope to meet you soon. I'd recommend the course "TANDEM" in which you are paired off with a student from Spain or another country. You speak both languages and plan your activities together. Find out more about it on the webpage below or at the International Office at UEM. http://www.uem.es/es/oferta-academica/programas-internacionales/estudiantes-internacionales/idiomas You can also join the International Club. Some students put notes on the bulletin boards to find a partner for English-Spanish language conversation. And I always welcome English speaking exchange students to participate or help me out with the UEM LAB activities you'll see in the NEWSLETTER or on our webpage www.uem.es/uemlab. Sept 20th from 11:30 on I need help with WATER BALLOON EVERYWHERE. Should be fun! Wendy

Laura (not verified)
5 February 2016 12:29 pm Reply

To know what is surprising of our culture for people of other countries is so interesting. We get in to know ourselves a bit better trhough their eyes. I like that they perceive us as a culture where the physical contact matters. It is a quality of our culture that we don´t usually value, and it´s so important, and so nice...

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