Column – Konnichiwa! Hallo! Zdravstvuite! Oi! Salut! Hola! Hi!

Eri Arai and Eri Arai

Do you know how many international students are now studying at ? 1,086. That’s five percent of the total student population and they are from around 70 different countries.

As you can see, they are everywhere on campus. For the past few years, there have been more and more international students on campus. Most likely you have at least a few international students in the classes you are taking. But maybe not too many of you have thought about the advantages of having so many international students enrolled.

The first and biggest advantage that American students may not know and should know about international students; they all pay a lot of money for going to school here. They pay 10 times as much as California resident students. City College is getting a great deal financial wise by having so many international students.

Some of the staff members of The Channels (including me) are from outside of the United States. I came to Santa Barbara to study English and have met a lot of other students who are from my country, Japan, and also many people from all over the world: Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia

I have seen many students trying to learn some words or expressions when they first meet new people who speak completely different languages than their own. Many of my friends asked me how to say ‘Hi’ in Japanese and I asked my friends how to say ‘Hi’ in their languages. I know a few words in Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and French. Many of you American students may know Spanish from high school, neighbors and friends.

Studying at City College gives a great opportunity to start learning a new language not only by making new friends with people who speak a different language, but by taking some of the language classes that City College offers. In addition, native-speaking tutors work on campus; talking with a native speaker is definitely the best way to learn the language.

Learning a new language is not the only thing you may be interested in. It’s only a part of a culture and there is much more to it to discover: food, music, and movies.

The chances are right here for you. Do you want to cook some delicious international dishes? You don’t have to pay and take a cooking class at City College. Ask an Italian student to teach you how to make delicious pasta. Ask a Chinese student to teach you how to make tasty orange chicken. When you want some spicy food, ask a Korean student for recipes. Or maybe you can all gather to cook different samples of international food.

Do you want to know what it is like in Sweden? Brazil? Russia? South Africa?

Those people are right here on campus. Go find someone to talk to and see what it is like in those native countries.

Santa Barbara is one of the best places to experience multiple cultures and meet new people.