To new expats and to new university students: Welcome!
May you experience all the best while avoiding the “Freshman Fifteen” and “Expat Eleven”.
After being a university student for four years and then working with InterVarsity for the next eleven years, I still live according to the rhythms of college life. So naturally, I connect experiences as a newbie expat with the experiences of a typical newbie college student.
1. You don’t know where anything is except for your room/house/apartment.
Welcome to your new campus or country! Find an exploration buddy and work outward from your location in concentric circles.
Don’t worry about wandering around with campus map or iPhone in hand. Everyone else who was a newbie did the same thing. Residents might laugh at you and mutter “Freshman!” or “LaoWai!”, but that’s better than getting lost.
The good news: wherever you wander, you can always find your way home.
2. You buy expensive food because the store/restaurant/cafeteria is closest to you and that’s the only place you know…
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