International Love Has its Dangers, and Advantages

Karishma Singh

The opportunity to date while in America may prove daunting for some, but the international student’s love life takes a more direct approach to dating than others.

It seems that international students have “no strings attached relationships” all figured out.

It’s that time of the quarter when international students study for finals, pack their bags, and bid farewell to soon to be former lovers.

A relationship can take many shapes; from a whirlwind romance, fun Friday nights spent [sight seeing] or a quarter-long steamy affair.

What the international student population is working towards is their education, and traveling abroad affords them opportunites to meet new people, and fulfill their needs in a productive manner as well.

“Think inside the box,” says relationship author and blogger Michael Patrick, “young people traveling the world for education have got their goals and priorities set, and most of them just want to have a good time.”

Serious relationships are not on the minds of many international students, as many expressed to The Pioneer that knowing their times in their country of study will be short lived, a romantic companion or friend who has common ground with them is what they seek most of all.

“People are focusing on building and evolving their future careers, so it’s easier not to have something serious with a person,” said Elisa Dierkes, an international student from Germany currently studying at CSU East Bay.

With international student fees already exorbitantly higher than the regular California resident, the last thing on the mind of many international students is losing focus with a committed relationship and wasting their or their parents’ money.

For Valerie Sauvé, international student at CSUEB, her view on international romances are different.

“I met my boyfriend during a semester at my college back home in Canada,” said Sauvé, “it too was just supposed to be a semester long romance but when the semester ended we didn’t want to part and now we work hard to make it work.”

For many students dealing with the stresses of daily life, stressing about a relationship is the last thing on their mind. Many international students don’t want to deal with the cultural barriers, so they look for fellow country mates to become bedmates.

All of the judgments of likes and dislikes, trends between culture, and even a language barrier aren’t worth the effort. The casual hook up seems to be the easiest solution: No emotions, getting needs met, and having the excuse of leaving after the quarter.

College is a great time to find connections, whether romantic or professional. As finals week comes to a close at CSUEB, many romantic relationships are coming to close, amidst tears and promises of finding a way to reconnect.

Huffington Post College page journalist Patricia Vanderbilt explains the new trend has no medium, leading students to either have casual sex or no sex at all.

“Hook-up culture creates a strange binary: on the one hand, students are having casual sex,” said Vanderbilt. “On the other hand, students are having no sex at all. With the exception of an occasional long-term relationship, there is virtually nothing inbetween.”

Perhaps for international students it is easier to have this type of arrangement because for many CSUEB residents on campus they are here for a while and will most likely run into each other, which makes this nonchalant, no strings relationship model complicated.

As this time looms for many in Hayward, remember, it is better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all. There are counseling resources on campus as well to help you through your emotional whirlwind. Stay strong and stay positive, life and love are about chances and risks, or else we would never have fun at all.