A few weeks ago, my roommates and I went to dinner in the Mensa to find it completely packed. There were no seats to be found anywhere. However, we saw a table just in time as everyone who was sitting there, got up to leave. We set our stuff down and went to go get dinner. When we arrived back at our table, we were surprised to see half of our table occupied by international students.
After first getting over the fact that we were sitting with a bunch of people that we had never seen before, it got fascinating. Once the conversations broke loose, we discovered more and more about each other. I found out that these guys were from all over the world including: Germany, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. We learned more about their countries and realized how diverse we really are from each other.
One thing we learned was that they found out they did not like American food, but we also learned that it was mainly the Mensa food—which we did not disagree with at all! We learned that some of them have traveled to Popeye’s, Subway (which we were told was “on point”), McDonalds, and Taco Johns. We told them to expand their horizons and have common Iowa foods such as ham balls, different casseroles, and corn on the cob.
Next up, we discovered that they also thought our transportation system was also very different from what they were used to. They figured we had public transportation such as taxis, trains, or busses to get around in our towns. We also found out how hard it was for them to get to and from airports.
Then we later got to the topic of sports. Sports in our country are also a lot different from theirs. Cricket is a very popular sport in some of their countries which is very different from the United States, which we don’t really have. They also have football—what we refer to as soccer, and rugby. We also found some similarities as we both have basketball and golf.
I always talk to people from around here and have never expanded my horizons until college. It is crazy to realize how what seems so normal to me, is something completely different to someone else. I feel like it is very essential for us to get to know about other people and their cultures. If we become more diverse as a person, it makes us a well-rounded person with a more cultural understanding of those around us.