After sending our email to the members of the InternationalStudent.com Facebook group asking for feedback on what you wanted to hear and read more about – we have our first posting covering one of the topics – Fraternities and Sororities.
We are covering this topic via a guest post from Elena V, who responded to our email with a great viewpoint on Fraternities and Sororities from an international students standpoint. Her post follows:
Being an international student I frequently interact with the members of these groups and it seems to be both a fun and exciting experience, however, I’d not recommend an international student to join one in their first year of studies.
First of all, sororities ( I will speak about them because I am a female so it’s easier for me) have their own culture and it’s very American. I live in the South and here people are not generally very receptive of foreign cultures or are not aware of international developments all over the world. It could be hard to become one of the “sisters” right off the bat, because activities and events conducted by an average sorority imply prior knowledge of American culture and expectations.
We, international students, have a tiny bit more to accomplish during our years of study than an average American student- 1) learn foreign language 2) adapt to the local culture and lifestyle 3) make new friends 4) excell acdemically and socially 5) personal goals
A social sorority might help initially as a friend-making mechanism, but later it will take time for things that don’t matter as much in the long run. (Functions, volunteering, tailgaiting, bake sales). Yes, volunteering is important, but the thing is you have to pay a membership fee to do that.
However, major-related fraternities and sororities can be a wonderful addition to the resume and can bring important contacts into the horizon. Instead of being a part of a big group with many interests, I’d join a smaller one with a focus on something that matters to me. My friend Anna from Spain joined a Tennis Club and an Advertising Club, both of which involved people with similar passions.
Joining groups is a must for an international student, I myself am a part of the Student Ambassador Program and it helped me to meet some wonderful students and their parents. Moreover, now I know there is a network of American students that can help me with advice, rides, or other college-related issues.
Before you make a decision to join a fraternity or a sorority, think about these things: 1) is it worth your time and money? 2) will it bring good dividend? 3) will it take your time from other activities, such as classes?
Thank you to Elena V for providing us with a great insight into her thoughts and views about Fraternities and Sororities for international students. Elena has also asked if other international students could post their comments with their views – so please let us know what you think.
If you would like to find out more information about Fraternities and Sororities, please check out the Wikipedia Sorority and Fraternity Page