Adjusting to life in a foreign country brings many difficulties

Dear Editor:

Coming from the opposite side of the globe with a different background, I often find myself lost in this country.

I have said (in a Ball State video) that Ball State was like home for me. However, I have not always felt at home in America.

On the contrary, I began to feel more homesick in my last year in this country. My weak point is my desire to understand culture at a deeper level in a shorter time. This is hard because of cultural differences.

Despite the fact that I have been here for 4 years, I still made mistakes in communicating with some American friends. Many times I make the situation worse just because I tried to do better. I hoped however, this writing to the DAILY NEWS is a right decision. I hope that it will give me a chance to get to know more open-minded people who will help me learn more about America and its people.

Living in a foreign country is not always easy. Take my recent experience as an example: I was put in a hospital just because what and how I said. I spoke out because I wanted to share and learn. I did not care how people would think about me. As long as it somehow helped people to reach out for one another more I would give it a try. Well, I had no idea that someone would be so fast to conclude that I was sick and needed help or not. ON the other hand, I understood that it was an act of concern. I assumed that the person(s) reported my case to policemen. The policemen were not too rough on me, but they took me to the hospital and I am still on medication. Ironically, the problem arose because someone cared. On the other hand, I spoke out because I cared too. I thought we could all learn from each other. Unfortunately, my belief and ignorance led me to a bitter experience. I was put in a wheel chair, and given an injection twice (you wouldn't know how much I hate 'the needle'). That's not all, they drew blood from me twice, too.

We could not change what already happened, and I am not mad with anybody, Nevertheless, we can learn from the past. That is why I am writing this.

From my perspective. I could see that it could be different if only I was given more time to clarify myself. I believed I had enough to say. I believed that if only all people involved learned to come together and give me enough time to defend myself I would hot have had to stay at the hospital.

On the positive side, being at the hospital, I met some good and interesting friends including ones from Ball State. I realized that there is a possibility that someone might be passed onto the policemen or hospital like in my case. I thought about how I was treated, and how it could be better handled. I thought about how different I would feel if I was given more time and information about what was going on and why. Then I decided to write this article. I want to share and learn more so that I will make fewer mistakes, hopefully.

What I learned from my experience is the importance of trust and mutual respect. However, because of the limitations of space and my English ability, I cannot discuss everything in details here. But if anyone wants to learn more about my experience, feel free to contact me either in person or send me an e-mail (mkan01@hotmail.com).

Even if you consider me sick or crazy, please don't call a policeman yet. If my English is so bad and it offends you in any way, please accept my apology, and feel free to ask or respond. Please be assured that what I am looking for is mutual understanding among people of different cultures. I am looking for is peace and love, not the opposite. Well, if you have the love and peace, and understanding to share, let me hear from you.

Metee Kansa
graduate student


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