I arrived in the United States about 6 months ago, and since then I have been staying at a place called “The iHouse,” which stands for The International House. It is a rental property located in Reno, Nevada, which exclusively hosts international students who come from all over the world. You can already imagine the variety of accents around here. Living in this house is crazy, in a good sense. I have housemates from all over the world. Sharing a roof with different kinds of people is an experience that has opened my mind immensely.
I have 7 housemates, and none of us share the same mother-tongue, which forces us to speak English. I had never had housemates nor roommates before, so as you can imagine, it was a big change for me to move in this house. During my first semester I had one housemate from Norway and another one from Brazil; they’ve since gone back to their countries already which is something common over here; people come and go every semester. I have learned to value that because it allows me to meet friends and create ties with people from everywhere.
Nowadays, I am living with people from Japan, Vietnam, Hawaii, France, India and Bangladesh. As you can imagine, except for the Hawaiian guy, we are all in the constant process of improving our English skills, which is amazing because we all understand the struggle that the process of adapting to a new language involves.
I am the youngest in the iHouse. I am a college freshman, and most of my housemates are doing their master’s or their PhDs. They are all knowledgeable people; I have learned a lot from them, and that is due to the diversity of our academic majors. A few of them are pursuing a computer science major, others engineering, yet another one the behavioral sciences, and we also have a business major. It’s interesting how every time we talk, even if it’s about the most random topic, it turns into a deep scientific argument; however, it is not like a boring topic that you would like to avoid in that mandatory science class.
Even though we are all different, we are all people. We all understand each other, and we get along really well. Apart from that, we are all students; we know what studying abroad is like, so we understand and, more importantly, help each other whenever possible. I feel lucky because this iHouse is a place that I can call home.
Jefferson Phillips from Costa Rica is studying computer science at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.