domingo, 3 de agosto de 2014

Anatomy of an international student

// Para versão em português, clique aqui. //

A kind of creature that wanders around the streets of Groningen and of most universitary cities I have heard about, speaking loud during inconvenient time, ignoring local holidays and asking for help in english to random people in the city center, are the international students. Where do they live? What do they eat? How can they adminstrate the money in such a way that after all the drinking and partying they still have enough to buy bread, cheese and salami?

First of all, as is usual for me, it is good to highlight the fact that in everything there are a lot of sides, and no international student is like the others. But because of the unicity of its members, this community ends up having some general characteristics that, more or less, apply to all of its members. Except when they don't. You got the idea.
To understand this creature it is necessary to understand that they have lots of contradictions. Every international student is continuously searching for the new, the new knowledge, the new thing, the new experience, for that new sensation he or she never had. And is always spicing those things with the old: all the stuff they used to do in their countries, the food they ate, the kinds of places they went to. In the end, even the things they were already used to are different, because they are with different people, in a different place - in my case, in a different hemisphere.
The international student wants always to know more about their friends' countries, how is the culture there, how to pick up girls in that country and, most of all, how one can say f*ck you on theirs friends' native language.
They most probably are not going to just shut up and listen, of course, they are going to share all about their own country, and are going to have a very good time listening to their friends cursing each other without knowing what they are saying. I had a lot of help of the world in this, because with all the World Cup thing the Brazil became a frequent subject and finally more people know we speak Portuguese and less people com to me saying "Hola, buenos días muchacho!". I know most of my friends cities because of their Happy videos (videos singing and dancing the music Happy), and they know Porto Alegre because of the World Cup propaganda.

(my fellows from Novo Hamburgo, please don't hate me! I love my city, but there is not so much to say after I have already said a) Novo Hamburgo is 40km away from Porto Alegre, b) Jorge's Tire Shop is there, c) it was named after Hamburg, in Germany [then one brief explanation about the european colonization in the south of Brazil and why I don't "look brazilian"] and d) it is a quiet place where the Art moved to and the shoe's Fenac is our pride.)

Most of the international students, yet, don't turn down a party or at least a pre-drinking in the blue kitchen. I mean, except when the exams are getting close, because then everybody enters a state where the fuel is the coffee and the goal is to learn everything possible. Opinions will diverge about how close is close enough to despair, but everybody have to study some time.

Did I forget something? Yes or absolutely sure? Write on the comments what is missing :)

Tot ziens!

Brazilian international students: very loud subspecies, they are not timekeepers, and they are everywhere. On the picture, waiting for the train to come back from Amsterdam.

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