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An encounter with a Russian student in the USA

Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Russia, Ukraine, or the former Soviet Republics.

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An encounter with a Russian student in the USA

Postby wuming » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:14 am

Last month I had the chance to converse at length with a young Russian woman who's a graduate student in the US. I was struck by several aspects which were unusual, from my perspective of being in US academia for some time now:

    She was friendly and actually made intelligent, interesting conversation about world events, economics, and history. This put her ahead of 90-95% of American students, both graduate and undergraduate, who barely understand how their own Congress works, and think Dow Jones is some guy with a weight problem.

    She actually took an interest in me as a person and asked direct questions of my background, experiences, and knowledge. Again, this put her ahead of 90-95% of American students, who seldom show curiosity about others beyond superficial questions.

    She dressed better, looked better, and acted more feminine than the vast majority of American women I've seen or met (a big number). In demeanor she's gentle and friendly; without even my realizing it, I felt that being more chivalrous around her was the right way to be. I know that almost any American woman reading this would freak out and call me a chauvinist pig. Well, I've already noted she's smarter and more worldly - so her mind is superior too. And guess what? She's not so insecure that she's constantly trying to prove to me how smart she is (something I try hard not to smirk at when it happens, because my idea of a smart woman is Madame Curie, not Oprah), nor slinking away from a direct discussion of anything beyond fashion, food, butts, or boobjobs.

    She was respectful of my time and generosity, and did not take it for granted. Respect encourages mutual respect.


Those were my main impressions after about two hours of conversation. Thank the gods there are women like her in the world. Now I really want to travel.

And I'm beginning to think that a country without women worth fighting for is doomed to implode on itself. Given the historical precedents, this process has already begun...
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Postby jamesbond » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:35 pm

Great observation, when I was in college I had the chance to meet a few foreign students from South Africa, Germany and Austrailia. Guess what? They were smarter than your average American college student (who just wants to drink beer and watch tv) and they actually knew what was going on in the world and seemed interested in me as a person! What me and my roommate noticed the most was how FRIENDLY the foreign students were compared to the American students. The foreign students were inclusive, friendly and open to meeting new people (just the opposite of their American counterparts). Oh and by the way, the German girl I met was WAY better looking than most of the girls on campus and she acted and dressed like a lady as well! :D
Last edited by jamesbond on Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby wuming » Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:15 pm

Yes, that's a pattern that my experience corroborates - overseas students in the US are usually better behaved, more intelligent, and have stronger character (e.g. wisdom, empathy, self-control) than their American peers. Of course, such students are typically in the top 5-10% of their native culture's young people, otherwise they wouldn't have the will and resources (scholarships, connections) to travel for study.

However, I still think I am comparing apples to apples, because less than a quarter of US citizens get a college degree, and my observations are from higher-ranked universities as well. That is, even the supposed top 10-15% of US students are a notable cut below their international peers, from outer characteristics (beauty isn't just skin deep, but reflects nutrition, medical care, and physical exercise) to inner (education, ethics, refinement, self-control, self-awareness).

It's still amazing to me that there isn't more concern about these trends in this country, but then again that can't be too surprising given the complacency (We're #1!) and narcissism (You deserve everything!) that US culture encourages.
Last edited by wuming on Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby momopi » Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:07 pm

Foreign students are exceptional in that they were willing, and have the means to go to another country for education and career advancement. If you want to compare apples to apples, it may be better to compare a foreign student to an American grad school student, instead of average college population.

I like foreign exchange students because the girls are usually pretty nice and open to new experiences. Almost none of them drive and it's easy to pick them up by offering to show them around, take them to the beach, shopping mall, parks, etc. BUT you must understand that most will return to their country and you're just a fling to them. This means, you'll be left behind at the international airport, waving goodbye to a girl. I've done this several times and it doesn't really feel good being left behind.

I opted to date local girls with higher education level (in US) this year. Of the 4 that I dated this year, 3 had master's degree, and the other had a BA in compuer science. I also went out briefly with a doctor. They have pretty interesting social circles and are more intellectual. Last weekend, I meet a blonde who was a PhD and had a Piony BF, who is a college professor. Among the upper education level folks, there's less racism and they're more aware of global events. Also, most of them that I've meet has travelled internationally overseas, to Asia, Europe, or both. France seems to be a popular destination for them.

The down-side, is that unlike foreign exchange students who are young and cute, the (single) local girls with high education degrees are usually the nerdy type who is more comfortable in sweater and jeans than a dress. Age wise they're also older at late 20's to mid 30's. You can actually find 28 year old virgin girls who never had a real BF from this group. I dated one who had never masturabed in her life and ended up showing her "A girls guide to 21st century sex" TV series (download via BT) for sex ed.

If you can go overseas and manage to date girls from higher education levels, the pickings is potentially much better. I wish I had been able to attend college abroad as an exchange student. One girl that I went out with, did her MBA at Pepperdine, and was able to attend Tsinghua Unviersity in Beijing for one semester (study abroad program). She had a blast there. I did my MBA at um... night school here in LA. :(

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsinghua_University
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Postby wuming » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:51 pm

momopi wrote:Foreign students are exceptional in that they were willing, and have the means to go to another country for education and career advancement. If you want to compare apples to apples, it may be better to compare a foreign student to an American grad school student, instead of average college population.


Yes, I'd agree - and in my mind, I was comparing with American grad students. I've had many interactions with grad students from all backgrounds and in many subjects, and compared with their foreign peers, American grad students are still notably less polished (appearance, worldly knowledge, behavior & manners). Of course, that's a generalization and there are exceptions.

momopi wrote:I opted to date local girls with higher education level (in US) this year. Of the 4 that I dated this year, 3 had master's degree, and the other had a BA in compuer science. I also went out briefly with a doctor. They have pretty interesting social circles and are more intellectual. Last weekend, I meet a blonde who was a PhD and had a Piony BF, who is a college professor. Among the upper education level folks, there's less racism and they're more aware of global events. Also, most of them that I've meet has travelled internationally overseas, to Asia, Europe, or both. France seems to be a popular destination for them.

The down-side, is that unlike foreign exchange students who are young and cute, the (single) local girls with high education degrees are usually the nerdy type who is more comfortable in sweater and jeans than a dress. Age wise they're also older at late 20's to mid 30's. You can actually find 28 year old virgin girls who never had a real BF from this group. I dated one who had never masturabed in her life and ended up showing her "A girls guide to 21st century sex" TV series (download via BT) for sex ed.


Yes, I've noticed the same pattern - the intellectual and personality quality of highly-schooled American women can be superior to the typical American coed, but at the same time, such women are often not very feminine. Many of them bucked the US societal pressure of flash over substance and chose to develop their minds and careers, but seem to have gone too far in that direction, and fail to look or act like women. And then there are American women who were born with the potential to be intellectual and physically attractive, but once they learn how easy it is to get by in this society via the latter attribute (looks), leave their minds in arrested development.

At the same time, I've met international female grad students who cause a double-take after introductions, e.g. good-looking, well-dressed and feminine scientists and engineers. Guy friends here, after they see such women and know their profession, often can't believe it. Sometimes, *I* don't believe it either! Obviously I need to travel more.

momopi wrote:If you can go overseas and manage to date girls from higher education levels, the pickings is potentially much better. I wish I had been able to attend college abroad as an exchange student.


momopi, as usual, you offer an excellent suggestion - perhaps the best solution yet in pursuit of quality female company. High-ho, high-ho, it's overseas we go...
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Postby ladislav » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:01 pm

Great observation, when I was in college I had the chance to meet a few foreign students from South Africa, Germany and Austrailia. Guess what? They were smarter than your average American college student (who just wants to drink beer and watch tv)


They need to be if they are to study in the US or anywhere abroad. Dummies do not become foreign students as a rule. Can't get student visas.



and they actually knew what was going on in the world and seemed interested in me as a person!



Probably you were one of the few Americans who was interested in talking to them. And they should know what goes on in the world- they are international travelers seeking knowledge in foreign lands, after all.


What me and my roommate noticed the most was how FRIENDLY the foreign students were compared to the American students.


Well, most guests ( who have any brains, and students usually have some) are friendly in the country of the (rich and powerful) host. They are all alone, and they need to be nice to the people around them. After all, they came to the US to experience a new culture.

Americans give the same friendly impression to the locals in Japan and Oz and a lot of other countries. Local people seem dull and unfriendly by comparison. I was told by the Japanese so many times how friendly and open Americans were. Japanese people describe Americans by the word 'acarui'- joyful, open, affable, friendly.


The foreign students were inclusive, friendly and open to meeting new people (just the opposite of their American counterparts).


They may not represent the cross section of their country's population. Just like US students studying in the UK and Japan are a special breed and are seen as very friendly, curious and ' inclusive', possibly. They do not have a group to include someone into, really. Being strangers in a strange land, well, that is what they have to behave like to be liked. That is, if they have common sense, and college students who have gone abroad and passed rigorous entrance and visa requirements usually do. I remember one American student at a Japanese university in Tokyo. He was always a leader of groups of young people, friendly, hanging out with Japanese students, learning the language, always smiling. Same with American students in Quebec city. French-speaking, friendly, with a seeking mind.

Rank-and-file Germans and S. Africans act differently back home from international scholars and educational travelers. Here are some examples of 'inclusion" back there:
Yup, someone has a different story to tell:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl8PRMHFF_U
http://www.economist.com/world/europe/d ... d=10958534


Oh and by the way, the German girl I met was WAY better looking than most of the girls on campus and she acted and dressed like a lady as well!

Oh yeah. This I would believe.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
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