Davidson Microaggressions Project

Belittling International Students

As an international student, I have felt belittled by my professors countless times. I especially remember my [social science discipline] professor’s comment on my first ever college paper. Despite receiving a score that was above average, she concluded her corrections with something along the lines of “I am afraid there’s no quick route for international students”. I felt like my effort and hard work were being completely delegitimized. I was ashamed and singled out. My international identity unfortunately connoted much more than I had anticipated. I felt like I didn’t belong in that class and, despite my high scores, I believed I was incompetent. Having had conversations with other internationals, it is clear to me that condescending comments continue to emerge. I just wish professors would think twice about the repercussions of their statements on internationals’ self-concepts. When you are far from home, such comments can burden you even more.