International Students Faced with Cultural Adjustment

Assimilating to cultures and ways of life is not always easy.  For my Final Cut Pro, I explored how international students from the University of Denver cope with being away from home and adjust to new cultural experiences.  There are two sides to this inquiry.  Marlene Arnold, a Senior International Advisor with the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) spoke to me about the various resources her office offers to members of DU’s extensive international demographic.  ISSS provides support for immigration issues, communication and cultural adjustment.  Throughout the year, the staff hosts numerous events such as Global Café, Festival of Small Nations and International Orientation to assist those who might need help integrating into our community.  Everything possible is done to ensure the students who come to the University from foreign countries transitions smoothly into their new environments.  Providing the alternate international student perspective, Junyan Hu, a freshman from China shares why she chose to study in the United States and explains the challenges she faces immersing herself into American way of life and culture.

Through my photographs, I presented the International Student and Scholar Services office, highlighting not only the number of student represented from foreign countries they serve but also the dedication and support of the staff who worked to alleviate any potential uneasiness that the students might experience.  My choice of photographs also focused on Chinese students since they represent the majority of international students on campus.  Photographs of males and females, both alone and interacting, are included to illustrate the closeness these students feel and the dependence they have on each other.  Despite being far from home, Chinese students remain a tight knight community.  I tried to select photographs that depicted this strong bond.  In arranging the photographs, I chose ones that best correlated with the audio to convey my message.  Building the audio slideshow took time.  I had a lot of audio to edit and carefully select because I initially interviewed five people.  In the end, I chose to use only two of the interviews due to time constraint and fear that too many would be confusing.  Junyan Hu’s interview was edited and positioned to flow.  English is her second language and, at times, it was difficult to arrange so that the audio was concise and clearly reflected her point of view.  Also, I used captions as a means to put the audio in context and be more comprehensive.

One Response to International Students Faced with Cultural Adjustment

  • Kersten Jaeger
    Kersten Jaeger says:

    I really liked how your pictures went along with what the interviewees were talking about. I remember at one point the first woman mentions international lunches and there’s a picture of two international students eating. At another point she mentions all of the countries that they come from and you took a picture of a bunch of the flags. Also, with the student interviewee, when she discussed being in a sorority you had pictures of her with her sisters. That was all really well put together. Plus I like how you interviewed an administrator and a student – it showed the different perspectives nicely, especially when they were both discussing international students talking to and hanging out with American students.

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