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July 30, 2018 | by  | in The International Angle |
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The International Angle

Walking on Edge
There I was, standing at the Auckland airport with 40kg of luggage, staring into the far distance. My head was pounding and my whole body was aching after the 12 hour flight. I was physically drained. It couldn’t compare with the emotional turmoil that was going on in my head though.
I went back to Vietnam during my winter break to visit family and friends. Hanoi is home — always has been, always will be. And yet, I had this weird feeling that I didn’t belong when I touched down in Hanoi about 4 weeks ago. Maybe it was because I had been away for so long, maybe it was because there had been quite a few changes made, or maybe it was because everyone saw me in a different light. Regardless of the case, it was hard trying to get back to the life I had once upon a time.
However, setting foot on Auckland made me once again realize how out of place I was. It was just a feeling that came crashing down as I struggled to manoeuvre my trolley through the crowd. There was this identity crisis simmering just below the surface that was about to erupt just any time. Being an international student myself, I had to constantly walk the edge between cultures within the same persona, battling with feeling isolated while trying to balance between two cultures. It is tough at times, especially when surrounded with such bewilderment that came along with having to adjust to a new social and academic environment.
It is the uncertainty of which culture to lean towards while being in New Zealand that made the identity crisis so much more challenging for me. International students like me are fighting an ongoing battle with figuring out who they are while walking in and out of two different cultures.

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