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aerofool
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06 Aug 2009, 11:20 am

I'm a portuguese student and next year I will study in netherlands at TUDelft. It is the first time I will live outside my parents home and I will be in a residence with two other guys that I don't know who they are. I'm afraid that I will isolate myself, and that I will have trouble adjusting to another culture. Can anyone with a bit more experience than me give me some advice about how to survive out there?



Mindovermatter
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06 Aug 2009, 8:07 pm

aerofool wrote:
I'm a portuguese student and next year I will study in netherlands at TUDelft. It is the first time I will live outside my parents home and I will be in a residence with two other guys that I don't know who they are. I'm afraid that I will isolate myself, and that I will have trouble adjusting to another culture. Can anyone with a bit more experience than me give me some advice about how to survive out there?


Let me get this straight. You are asking people who have trouble surviving on their OWN how to survive in a foreign environment? Good luck.



nikinizor
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06 Aug 2009, 8:18 pm

...my own personal method of coping and dealing with things I might rather insulate against and hermitize myself away from is a little harsh but works for me. I put myself into the situation so its sink or swim and therefore MUST act accordingly...its like finding a fence you cant climb over, you throw your hat over the top and then you HAVE TO find a way over. good luck.


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Mindovermatter
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06 Aug 2009, 8:23 pm

nikinizor wrote:
...my own personal method of coping and dealing with things I might rather insulate against and hermitize myself away from is a little harsh but works for me. I put myself into the situation so its sink or swim and therefore MUST act accordingly...its like finding a fence you cant climb over, you throw your hat over the top and then you HAVE TO find a way over. good luck.

Good analogy :) I've been trying to get my hat over the fence for a few years now. Sometimes I wonder what's going to happen to me :(



iniudan
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06 Aug 2009, 8:44 pm

Mindovermatter wrote:
Let me get this straight. You are asking people who have trouble surviving on their OWN how to survive in a foreign environment? Good luck.



If you don't want to be supportive why post that kind of answer Mindovermatter. He might be asking here because, even if we might not have the best tip, we are the best chance he can get tip that are withing is capability and because we can understand understand his situation in a better way then most NT would.


Cannot really help for never really traveled but I can tell you I always had less trouble speaking with foreigner in their own language then speaking with people of my own language. Maybe because they confuse my poor social skill with some difficulty with the language. Cannot really know never asked them.

For the two other guy is it a campus residence or something outside the campus, if it is on the campus and they causing trouble might be easier to correct the situation, but that really depend on what kind of direction the school house.

Also try to check if there is any public autism or asperger group in the school or around, they might be your best bet for a better integration

Would say try to avoid too much exposure to Portuguese group for they are the one who are most likely to find your awkward or weird for they are same culture then you, so notice your difference easier. But at same time don't stay too far for might need assistance from time to time, would say just keep it to business.


No idea if they are good tip actually, just going by the little logic I can make of it all. But wish you good luck with your studies in foreign country, you actually doing something lot of people here would be very afraid off I am sure, including myself.



Damaged
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07 Aug 2009, 9:42 am

I lived in the Middle East for several years and posted the following while still there:
http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt85081.html



Zsazsa
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07 Aug 2009, 3:08 pm

The Netherlands is a wonderful place to visit and the people are very friendly. Many people in the Netherlands use bicycles
to get around and you may find that mode of transportation equally as enjoyable. Be sure and take in the sights and enjoy the
thousands of flowers everywhere...you will soon find out why the Netherlands are called the "Flower Capital of the World."

As for the two guys who will become your roommates...is it possible to get to connect with them socially beforehand through e-mail? If not, don't fret...it just means that you will have to make the extra effort to get to know them when you arrive. Remember, those two roommates will be apprenhensive about meeting you, too. When you first meet your roommates, offer them a friendly "hello," shake hands if you want and introduce yourself to them. Be first in having the courage to "break the ice"
between the three of you. Are you all moving in at the same time? If so, offer to help each other move belongings into the
residence.

New environments and new people are always challenging at first. Yet, it simply comes down to having good manners and being
respectful to each other and each person's space. Be friendly and keep an open mind. Before long, the three of you will, most likely, be great friends.

Best of luck to you!



GreenStar
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07 Aug 2009, 3:22 pm

dutch people are cool and social. in student environments everybody wants to meet everybody, it will be very easy to integrate.

good luck and have a lot of fun!



ChangelingGirl
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07 Aug 2009, 3:32 pm

GreenStar wrote:
dutch people are cool and social. in student environments everybody wants to meet everybody, it will be very easy to integrate.

good luck and have a lot of fun!


Thanks. ;) But I must say I agree, and the other way around, too - I used to live (before being hospitalized) in an apartment in student housing, and most of hte people on my floor were international students. It was interesting to learn about each other's cultures.



Meursault
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07 Aug 2009, 5:18 pm

Aerofool,

I feel like my life experience is similar enough to be relevant, but different to the point where not all of it may applicable to your situation.  But I hope by sharing what I did experience when living abroad with AS, it might help you take a better look at the stakes of your own pursuits.

I'll get the differences out of the way first.  I was 25 at the time and had been living on my own since age 17 with very little involvement from parents, but it sounds like you're younger and haven't reached this point yet.  And while this is easily a post in itself, there seems to be a masochistic minority of ASpies that put forth a concerted effort to fake their way through situations day in and day out.  That's definitely me, and I had been doing it to the point of obsession since age 17 as well, not sure if you've done the same (I have stopped this as much as I can, and for your own good I advise not to go down this road).

But to the point: I am a white American and spent a year living in an Asian country, learning the language, making friends, and otherwise on my own.  Interacting with foreigners in another language was challenging to be sure.  But the funny thing was, I was rarely judged on account of AS-isms.  I was a foreigner first and foremost, and was judged by this standard.  Think to other foreigners you've met in your own country.  Did they have a hard time communicating, seem oblivious  to subtle hints, respond less than appropriately to social situations, or just not "do things" the same as everyone else?

As a foreigner, your average person will definitely see you as socially awkward and aloof.  But all foreigners are like this, you'll blend in more than you might think.  I certainly did.  And if you make a real effort to learn their language and culture, you can get away with even more. 

I won't say it will be all roses. These things were still hard for me, might be for you. But the feeling of otherness may actually play to your advantage in this setting, and you may feel less vulnerable and succeptable to social paranoia. If you mess up something little, you're not a moron - just a foreigner.

Hope this helps,

Meursault


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iniudan
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07 Aug 2009, 6:02 pm

[quote="Meursault"][/quote]


Good to see part of the the tip I gave from just logistic thought actually concord with experience. At least prove I got some social knowledge too bad unable to apply most of it in real situation.



aerofool
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07 Aug 2009, 10:00 pm

Thank you for your advices and for sharing your experiences.

I think I like that feeling of being considered a foreigner. I visited the US not long ago and I noticed too that people were not seeing me as a weird guy, they just saw me as a foreigner. They probably knew I was a bit stranger than usual but it would be just a little note in their description of me.

But I don't know if it applies to my situation because the university is filled with international students and they must know how a foreigner should act. In any case I'm sure that people there are friendly as some of you say.

I also think that for guys like me it easier to live in a nordic country or an anglo-saxonic country because in latin countries rules can be bent by being agressive and if you aren't agressive or a smooth talker you have many doors closed in the most basic things. I think that is not the case in other countries where rules are taken seriously because things are designed to work without one being agressive. Although I am expecting that some people can be agressive there it is not a requirement, i think.

To Zsazsa, I don't know for sure who they are or where and if we are all moving at the same time. I suspect we are all msc students (22-23 years old) of engineerings or architecture arriving at the same time. I also think we are all international students.