November 28, 2017

Assimilating to the U.S. Culture as an International Student

Did you know that international students come to the U.S. to play sports? That's exactly what Charith Kapukotuwa from Sri Lanka has done. First, he was recruited by a college in Kansas to be a shotputter on a track and field team. From there, he was picked up by a recruiter from Chadron State College in a small town in Nebraska. 

In the video below Charith talks about his experience coming from Sri Lanka to the U.S., his struggles adjusting to life in the U.S. and thoughts on international student integration.

Just like many other foreigners who come to live in the U.S., Charith believes in the American Dream and says he would like to do 'everything any other American can.' At the same time, he realizes the cultural identity crisis when he says, "I don't think I can live here as a Sri Lankan." 

Charith's unique experience coming to live and study in a very small, rural college in the U.S. may be unlike many other Sri Lankan or South Asians who study in universities that have Indian Student Organizations or India culture clubs out in the larger community. Charith did not have the community resources many other South Asians have in larger cities and metro areas take for granted, including ethnic grocers and restaurants. While South Asians who study in larger colleges may be surrounded by foreign-born students and professors lack the opportunity to learn American culture or American small talk, Charith's presentation skill and grasp of Americanisms in his English and mannerisms is evident. I applaud him for taking the road less traveled. 



On a personal note, I have been following Chadron State College on social media and am impressed about their international student body and activities. I really like how they integrate international student interaction into the larger community as noted in the events advertised below. If you are interested in learning more about Chadron State - see their international student admissions page or Facebook page


[Note: This was originally posted in March 2017 on our sister blog.] 


Related Posts: 
Chadron State on Facebook 
Chadron State International Student Admissions 
Do International Students Learn American Culture (with video commentary) 

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