After having a great experience at ISH from 2015-2016 as I studied at Johns Hopkins SAIS, I choose ISH again as my home in DC. Even as a returning resident, I still feel excited about my life at ISH, nervous about my new roommate, and happy that I am back.
When I arrived at the door, I met with old friends that I made while I lived at ISH. At that moment, the only way to convey our feelings of surprise and joy was through ISH style hugs, which went beyond words, beyond languages and beyond culture. I said to myself “yes, I am back home.”
There is no foreign language at ISH!
At international student house DC, there are residents from all over the world, for example, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, India, the US, and how do people communicate with each other? It is true that everyone can speak fluent English as most of the residents are studying, interning or working in DC. However, at the same time, people enjoy speaking, hearing and practicing another language, such as French, Chinese, Spanish, German, etc. At ISH, there is no foreign language, no foreign culture. Every one of us is a member of the unique family and every one of us contributes to the unique culture at ISH. At dinner time, in addition to inspiring talks on international relations, we can also hear different perspectives on food culture, clothing culture and living culture. It is so much fun to hear about different customs in different countries.
For a returning resident, what more to gain from the experience?
Many people might be curious and ask me “Jiawei, you have lived here for a year and you know everything about ISH, what else can you gain from the experience?” My answer is that there is always something new at ISH. Maybe the menu of the food stays the same, but there are always new residents or returning residents coming from everywhere, new events and activities at ISH DC and new ideas about life. Hence, even for a returning resident, I find it fascinating to meet new people, get to know their stories and make new friends. If you have any question about the life at ISH DC, feel free to contact me at [email protected] and I will post the answers here on the blog.
Sunday family style supper