My name is Vanessa N.
INTERVIEWED BY Ayshea Khan x 4

"Well the first impression you have when you arrive in the United States, comes from the customs."

Nice, France

Austin, Texas



Austin, Texas



I was living in the South of France and I was working for a company, the field was IT. And I didn’t speak good English at that time, so I told my boss one day, I would like to have an internship in the United States so I can learn English and I can be fluent at the points.

Well the first impression you have when you arrive in the United States, comes from the customs. When these persons asked me questions very fast, it was very hard for me to understand so I got really scared about not even being able to answer the questions, so my first impression was a little bit…I was a little bit scared to be honest.

And I do remember I was actually coming in the middle of the presidential election, you know, many little flags little bit everywhere. About Austin, I love the capitol, I arrived from the airport from South Congress and I saw the capitol and I am like, “Wow! I am in Austin, Texas for sure!” I was very impressed by the kindness of the people of Austin. When you try to cross the road for instance in Paris or in Nice, you don’t expect anyone to actually stop and let you cross the road. The first time I wanted to cross the street, the car literally stopped and I’m like “If I go, is he going to, like, hurt me?” It was very interesting, so that to me was absolutely mind blowing.

I was with my roommate that I was introduced to that day, and we went to eat to McDonald’s I guess, and I asked for Coke. They gave me my Coke, but I would say 80% of my Coke was ice. That for me was number one interesting thing I learned from America is like a lot of ice in the soda. And then after that I would say the food. I do remember…so I came in my apartment that I was renting with this roommate the first day, and I was hoping to make a salad. And in France you do your own dressing, okay, so I started doing like olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Then my roommate was American was like, “What are you doing?” And I’m like, “Just doing the dressing for my salad!” And he was like, “How do you do dressing for a salad?” I am like, “It’s very simple!” And then he showed me what he had in the fridge which was the dressing, you know, all packaged. I’m like, “Well, you don’t need that at all, you can do a very healthy dressing for your salad, very quickly.” So I taught him how to do it. But anyway, those are little funny things that make me understand better my experience in the U.S.