Cultural Experience | New York

You Know You’re an Expat Kid When…

The ups and downs of life as an international student

1. The first thing you asked your freshman roommate was “can i drink the tap water?”


2. You’ve found yourself craving street food in the library at 2 am

Shanghai china food vendor streetlife travel shopping dining image

3. You have to remind yourself not to haggle with the cashier at the bookstore

shopping bargain food local shanghai china image

4. You’ve had multiple passports but still haven’t gotten your driver’s license

passports united states travel airport image

5. You have yet to take the school shuttle but you’ve memorized terminal shuttle bus lines for multiple airports

colgate cruiser schedule transportation travel image

6. This looked like luxury the first week of school


7. You fly so often that having already seen all the movies on inflight entertainment this month is a problem

Hang man

8. Your friends fill duffels for thanksgiving break but all you need is a backpack

back pack

9. You’re still not sure how to tell your friends where “ home” is

map trial

10.  But getting there for christmas involves a 14 hour flight

airport shanghai pudong travel transportation image

11.  You’ve tackled 8:30 lectures with jet lag


12.  And homecoming crowds are nothing to you

crowd tourist china image

13.  You alternate between jaywalking and forgetting to look both ways before crossing

running china street crosswalk image

14.  You know how to fill out a customs form but still struggle with the front page of your green book

exam greenbook test college image

15.  You’ve complained about all of the above, but despite it all, know you wouldn’t have it any other way

home sign travel directions image

Jessica Hwang

Colgate Univeristy | 6 stories

Jessica is a sophomore studio art major/geology minor at Colgate University in Central New York. She is an inveterate wearer of black, digs free food, and listens to music your dad probably listened to when he was your age. When she's not freezing to death, this New Jersey native can be found doodling, visiting her second home in Shanghai, China, and not studying anything to do with dentistry.

One response to “You Know You’re an Expat Kid When…”

  1. Brendan Peake says:

    hah! nice article jessica. i knew that was the shanghai airport 😉

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