Questions you’ll be asked as a visiting student in the USA
First a warning—American are direct and frank. You’ll be asked all kinds of questions as an international student studying English in the US. Your culture, dress, and accent are all going to make you seem exotic. When you decide to be an ESL student in the USA, expect to be a source of interest to fellow classmates who may have never traveled anywhere outside the US.
Some questions may feel too personal or offend you (it’s that direct American way of speaking). Don’t feel compelled to answer. Change the subject by asking a question of your own that could spark a more comfortable, interesting exchange.
Likely Questions asked of Study Abroad Students in the USA
- What’s your accent?
Your accent may be the first thing that people will notice about you…and try to mimic, guaranteed. Go ahead, be flattered, and have fun. You’re a novelty, and your accent makes you seem worldly and glamorous.
- Why did you come here?
This is a genuine question and one you’re probably well prepared to answer since you put so much time, and thought into your decision to study ESL in the US. If you’re feeling isolated, or self-conscious you might hear a whiff of “go home” with this question. Try to take every question at face value; don’t assume someone’s being unkind. Many American students have no experience of another culture, and are genuinely interested to know how it compares, and contrasts with the only culture they DO know.
- Can you teach me to swear in your language?
Really, I’m not kidding. The first words classmates will be interested to learn in your language will be the curse words. I know, it’s lowbrow, but just let me say that this kind of exchange can result in some real fun, and is a bit of a shortcut to more chummy conversations.
4. How do you speak English so well?
The fact that you’re bi-lingual makes you impressive. Many American students want to learn another language, but not all US schools teach language courses. Additionally, the US is a giant country bordered on one side by yet another English speaking country.
Other languages aren’t as accessible as they are in countries where a two-hour train ride in any direction can put you in another country that speaks another language.
- What’s the biggest difference between the US, and your country?
Your classmates are trying to wrap their heads around the fact that the world is larger and more extraordinary than they imagined. Blow their minds! Your stories of your own country and the ways it differs from that of the US will inspire your American classmates to travel, and keep themselves open to learning more about other cultures.
As a study abroad student in the USA you are essentially an ambassador of your own country, and it’s culture. While you’re learning about America, and perfecting your English language skills take the time to teach your fellow students about who you are, and where you come from.