Current Students

Surprises: The first month of the NWCCI program

1186034_453999928032139_1231593670_nToday marks one month since students arrived in the United States!  To celebrate the successful completion of the first month, we asked students to reflect on what has surprised them the most since they arrived.  While some things matched how they were imagined, there were many unexpected aspects of life in the United States. Common themes that emerged included friendly people, food and outdoor activities.  We know there will be more surprises in the months ahead and we look forward to seeing what perplexes and interests students this year.

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is that almost everything surprises me. But one most surprising thing is, everyone is friendly. Strangers are jovial too. -Veipune Sarah, India

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is that I had to stop, think, and sort garbage everywhere. – Izza Asshofi, Indonesia1000242_10201200374985750_2076597927_n

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is that I feel happy and less worried because I have the freedom to express myself in whichever way I prefer. America is exciting and the outdoor activities make me full of energy! Another thing is that everybody greets everybody with a hello or hi even though they are strangers. Life is amusing in America. -Ashvi Johnson, India

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States, precisely Bellingham, is the number of times I see very fat people (i.e. Obese) on the street and yet I still see them buying a lot of junk foods when buying in the mall. In addition, another most surprising thing is that Bellingham is just a small town but there are a lot of very attractive tourist sites. Even if I spent the whole month exploring the whole of these sites, it would not be enough for me. Another surprising thing is the respect drivers have for pedestrians crossing, which I see to be very awesome. Finally, another most surprising thing is the love for animals such as deer, squirrel, and pets. Still hoping to see more. -Emmanuel Attipoe, Ghana

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is the people. They are so friendly, punctual, neat, and well-organized! –Istyasmi Suminar, Indonesia

1000918_1427470707479150_1912670254_nWhat has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is “the frozen food.” -Raju Pulivandlas, India

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is that water price and soft drinks price are same.  Lutfun Naher, Bangladesh

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is understanding Americans and also people from other countries. I have different culture with them and sometimes what they do is not common in my culture and is even irritating me. – Fransiska Palmasari, Indonesia

1231505_457367844362014_1771299432_nWhat has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is the size/portion of the food. It is really, really BIG to me. – Danis Sriwijaya, Indonesia

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is the environment and how amazing the nature is in America. Being here has opened many ideas and possibilities for me.  -Claudia DuPlessis, South Africa

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is is that all people talk like they know each other. In my home country people usually do not talk in the bus unless we know each other. -Grace Kalumata, Indonesia

I was impressed with the bus system, because it actually works. They are basically always on time and you can go really far just taking the bus. Another thing that impressed me was people’s punctuality. They arrive before the time, and this is new for me.” -Jessica Storrer, Brazil

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is that everything here is clean and well organized. I was surprised when someone I didn’t know asked me to have a chat and said hello to me . The last thing is I used to walk in the left side back home, but here everybody walks on the right side. I always collide with somebody when I walk.  -Habibi, Indonesia

37033_506686279421453_1813512275_nThe most surprising thing during my first month in USA was about the people of US, as they are the best, friendly, frank and helping. It was really shocking for me, and opposite of my thoughts. -Saleema Bano, Pakistan

What impressed me is how nice people are. They are always very kind and friendly. I also was impressed with the support provided by the college, we can always find someone to help. -Amanda Shimizu, Brazil

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is the food without spice, and people here just talk and say hi to the strangers. -Ashwini S. Guduru, India

I was surprised by the fact that drivers are on the left side of the road, the kind and generous people that I meet on a daily basis and the clean environment in Washington State. -Leon Ndlovu, South Africa

The first thing that caught my attention is how Americans are sympathetic and kind. They welcome us so well that we even forget we are not from here. And everything is so well organized. -Marie-Claude Assamoi Yobou, Ivory Coast

The things that surprised me in USA: Traffic rules and discipline. Politeness. Convenience.” -Huzefa Chikani, India

The one thing that surprised me in the United States is the classroom environment. Teacher Christina and adviser Bebhinn are very supportive and friendly.” -Fahmeeda, Pakistan

aaaaWhat surprised me? The bus. It talks and kneels. -Gunawan Setiadi, Indonesia

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is that all bus drivers say thanks to us when we show the Orca card. It’s interesting. I cannot see this in my country. -Serkan Dilemek, Turkey

What has surprised me most during my first month in the United States is that when I am walking, I feel every apartment, every house, roads, intersections looks similar. Every time I get lost because of that. This is not like this in my home country, India, which confused as well as surprised me a lot. -Ameer Salman O.M., India

The most surprising thing for me when I’m coming to the America is they have very good facilities for people with disabilities. The restrooms have special space for those in wheelchairs, and the buses even have the floor that opens at the door for the wheelchairs! -Rara, Indonesia

When I entered Seattle, the first surprise was there was no traffic. The other thing is everyone says “hello” with each other. I was surprised when I faced this situation. I have just tried to accommodate to foods. I’m ok now. Everything is ok. I learned so many things in one month, I will learn more things in nine months. -Sena Yumru, Turkey

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