Foreign Exchange Students in the media

After I went to the U.S., I saw there were more and more exchange students here. Studying abroad has been a tendency during the 21st century. I am an exchange student from China and some times I have the same emotion with the character that I found from the movie “Sixteen Candles” and the sitcom “That 70’s show”. However, Foreign Exchange Students in the media are always not in conformity with the facts. In the media, they are ridiculous. I would say that foreign exchange students are positive, optimistic and patient. Students go abroad for studying because they want to study in a new environment and get more knowledge about the new culture from the new school.


Sixteen Candles, Gedde Watanabe

The movie, “Sixteen Candles”, a kind of comedy and family movie that shows a girl named Samantha (played by Molly Ringwald), who’s sixteen’s birthday has been totally forgotten by her entire family. The dialogue she said most times is “I cannot believable.” She cannot believe her birthday, which is an important event for her family, has forgotten by her family. I think the creator wants to use a humor way to reflect when a girl’s birthday was forgotten by her families, what kind of reflections she would have. As a student, this movie has reveal students who are in the puberty having different emotions. However, when parents watch this movie, I think they may notice if they forgot their children’s birthday, what would their children do.


Sixteen Candles

Long Duk Dong (Gedde Watanabe), a foreign exchange student lived in a host family. When he had the dinner with his host family, this made me remembered the first I came to the U.S. At that time, I felt nervous; I didn’t like to have a conversation with others. Nevertheless, Long Duk Dong had played a humor role to make the movie to a high comedy, so some part in the movie was not correct and not same to foreign exchange students’ real life. When Long Duk Dong went to the dancing party, he was very happy. He met the girl that he liked. He said, “ This is the best night of my life”. I thought he is very funny and I imagine are we foreign exchange students the same as him. The commercial purpose of this movie is attractive students attention and earn more box office. If a movie wants to earn a high box office, then the creator have to make the content to be more meaningful. Audiences might draw a conclusion about the movies’ plot and cohesion. In this movie, the creator has used a special to attractive audiences’ attention, because all the characters in the movie had performance in a natural voice.

That 70’s Show, when I first time saw the name, I thought it might be a talk show or entertainment. When I search this name online, I realized that 70’s Show was a comedy sitcom. It totally had 8 seasons from 1998-2006. In this TV show, I think the creator has spend more time on creating the content of the show, because it had 8 seasons, the creator should make each season combine to each other. And always use some specific way to attract audiences’ attention. I think that 70’s Show is suitable for every age group. When I was in china, my grandma always like to watch comedy sitcoms with me. Those sitcoms are the same like that 70’s Show. The discretion of audience rating is the best way to evaluate a TV series.


That 70’s Show, Wilmer Vaderrama

So the That 70’s Show needs a good story to consolidate its position. The media product use to get my attention was their plot. There’s also have a foreign exchange students in the TV Show, his name was Fez (Wilmer Valderrama). Fez also lived in a host family; when the first time he meet his gang, they cannot understand his words. Sometimes they laughed at his pronunciation. However, this is a comedy. The creator wish to creative a humor situation, so he have to change some of the plot that not as usual. When I watch the part of Fez’s friends ridiculed at his English speaking, I felt unhappy. That 70’s show was a comedy; people in the show should create a comedy effect. Nevertheless, the real life of exchange students is not the same as Fez. American students are friendly with exchange students, and they have made friends.


The article I found from the U.S. News is talked about the trend of more and more international students come to the U.S. for studying. In these days, Students go broad for studying has become a popular trend. In my opinion, the author wanted to reflect a reality of Students from China and Saudi Arabia drove nearly 8 percent growths in international college students in the U.S. I think the audiences of this article can be divided into two types. One is Americans’ view another is foreigners’ view. For this article, it is profitably for all foreign exchange students, because studying abroad has been a hot topic during these years. Students wanted to study in a new environment and learn more knowledge. For American students, they may think that their learning environment and living environment were broken.


As an exchange student, I think I had learnt a lot after I went to the U.S., there are many difference between the cultures. I don’t think there’s a commercial purpose of this media product. It is just an article that stated the present situation of the society. There is no any commercial purpose. The media product of this article has used some data and examples of the international college students in the U.S. to get my attention. In the article “Number of International College Students Continues to Climb”, Moron France said “It provides an opportunity for our students to engage with people who are different from themselves and it creates a much more interesting campus community.” I like his opinion; he thought different culture would create an interesting campus community and good for college students’ study environment. During the recent years, more and more foreign exchange students choose to come to the U.S. for studying. As an exchange student, I think I have learnt a lot from the new school, especially for the new cultural. I find many differences between my country and the U.S.

Learning moment:

In this term, I think that I have learned a lot from the popular culture course. This is my first time to take the online class. At the beginning of the term, I actually didn’t know how to discuss and doing homework on the D2L. For the normal classes, we only use the D2L FOR checking homework and grades. However, this is also my first time to use the blog, all students share their comments on the blog and we reply to each other. I think it is good way for we students to understand one another, though we couldn’t each other.

Works Cited :

Ebert, Roger. “Sixteen Candles Movie Review & Film Summary”, 4 May, 1984. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

Lindsay, Deutsch, “That ‘70s Show’ stars grow up.” USA Today n.d.: Academic Search Premier. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

Porter, Caroline, and Douglas Belkin. “Record Number of Foreign Students Flocking to U.S.” Wall Street Journal. N.p., 11 Nov. 2013. Web. 01 Dec, 2015

Sixteen Candles. Dir. John Hughes. 1984. Youtube.

That ’70s Show. Dir. Mark Brazill. 1998.



6 thoughts on “Foreign Exchange Students in the media

  1. Hi jzh5666,
    Having been an exchange student in France and in the US before, I can totally relate to your post. I agree with you the stereotype of the 70s shows and the Sixteen Candles movie is quite different than what I experience. No one made fun of my accent, and I wasn’t overly joyful. Living in a foreign country, house and speaking a foreign language was a challenge for me. It was not because I couldn’t speak the language or had a hard time understanding others. It was because of the culture shock, of being away from your family and having a different daily routine and try to get used to the different taste of the food. I had bad host families, and I’ve heard of other students having abusive ones as well. I never heard these things on the news.

  2. I really like your topic “Foreign Exchange Students”. I am an international student, so I think this topic is interesting. After reading your article, I also think there are stereotype in these TV shows and movies. These international students act as a funny role in the film and television drama. This is a way which director use to attract the audience and get box office. However, these movies and TV shows are older, I would like to know whether there still are prejudices for international students in today’s films and television shows.

  3. Hi jzh5666,
    It is a nice really relation that you have to your topic. Doesn’t it make you feel nostalgic when watching the show/movie that feature foreign exchange students? I agree with you that there has been an increase in foreign exchange students in the current years. I feel it is because it is very much encouraged that students go study abroad so they can learn about other cultures and know how to adapt to different situations and cultures as well. How do you like being here in the states to study? Are the experiences comparable to what is portrayed in the media or is it very exaggerated? Thank you for sharing! Great research!

  4. hello Jzh,
    As a international student, I am really interested in your topic. In recently years, more and more foreign exchange students come to US for study, it become very popular trend. I am strongly agree with you the stereotype of Long Duk Dong, because I had same experience lived in host family. when I was live in host family. I feel the environment is very strange for me. Fortunately, I had a really nice host family, my host mommy helped me a lot, I appreciated I met her.


  5. Hi Jzh, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about what it is to be a foreign exchange student from your essay. I would like to one day travel myself and experience another culture, but I’m hesitant with the same worries as you when you first arrived here in America. I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay here in the US.

  6. Ji Jzh, this post seemed really interesting to me because it’s not something that you’d really put much thought into.
    You found some really great sources, but I believe you could have found a little more. Although you did do a good job at analyzing the ones that you had.
    I have been a big fan of “That 70’s Show” for a long time now, it’s funny, you can relate to it sometimes, and it’s a cool show about the 70’s. What’s better, right? Well a lot of things, actually. Fez does a lot of things to make everybody laugh. They make him the goofiest one, they always pick on him and he’s the one that’s not cool compared to anyone. Except in the real world, exchange students are awesome! You showed me that exchange students are completely different than how they are shown in the public’s eye and that the numbers of exchange students are growing all around the world. I’ve never been able to study abroad, but I hope I will be able to soon.
    How’s your experience going so far? I hope it’s been great here in the state. Good job on the essay as well, hope everything goes well for you.

    Arely Vidana

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