Life as an International Student by Marie-Elyse Badeau


 Porte Prescott Hiver

A view from home

When I left my country (I’m from Québec city, Canada), I was excited. Sad to leave family and friends, true, but mostly excited about the change I was going to experience. And what a change!! Not only have I chosen the warmest place in the world (or so it seemed to me at first, coming from a town where winter, cold, and snow are basic words of our vocabulary), but I decided to study in another language than my good old mother tongue. As much good as it did for me (and now I do appreciate the effort I put into living and studying in English), it also has been the most difficult part of my “adventure” in Texas. And don’t be mistaken, I knew some of the language before moving here; even then, an everyday life in a foreign language could be quite frustrating at first. From you handing out your credit card (made of plastic) when the cashier asks you whether you want a plastic bag or not at your first grocery shopping trip to struggling with the names of the notes on your score, even if you’ve been studying them for ages (why letters by the way?), the possibilities that you make mistakes or feel like a 5 year old kid trying to express something is quite likely to happen.

So, why GO through all that frustrating process? Simply, because it is worth it. Isn’t that what music is about to some extent? Trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone can only benefit your experience as an artist. A new language, like music, is a way to communicate your personality and your thoughts to other people. It is hard, but the chances are that you are going to find a lot of great people on your way who are willing to help you out with the change. And on the road, you might well discover that everyone’s culture has something to bring you, artistically speaking, and that yours can do the same to others. My opinion about International Studies, in a school or summer festival, is that, whether you are from the states and want to apply to another country or the opposite, you shouldn’t be afraid of the paper work, the language issue, or even of looking ridiculous. Just go for it. Music is one of the things in life that can bind together many different people, so take your sense of adventure and your taste for challenge with you and enjoy!

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