If you saw me across the hallway, would you think I am a local student, or an international student?
(Assuming you never hear me speak)
I’ve wanted to ask this question to passers-by at university for a while now. But thinking about it, if you were asked that question by me, you would think that I am a bit weird.
If you were to hear me speak, that would defeat the purpose of asking the question.
So instead I’m asking it here, and I’ll explain why I am interested in your answer.
First off, here is a picture of me:
This question arose after noticing the high proportion of international (mostly Chinese) students at Macquarie University. A similar claim can be made for other major Sydney universities.
I want to know how my look was perceived by the public. Do I look like an Aussie? Or do I look like a migrant/vistor?
After having studied belonging and identity in Year 12 English, I have been interested in seeing how much people have to do to ‘fit in’. My unscientific definition of ‘fit in’ is “to not feel out of place, or like a fish out of water”. Can someone fit in by just speaking the language (English)? Or does one have to fully adopt and accept the culture and mannerisms of the society?
I’ve noticed some changes in my behaviour, mostly in order to generate some small talk.
With your input, I’m able to judge whether I look more like a local or international student. It will also help me to understand what others think about this issue.