Six nationalities live in one house for my internship. (Don't worry, there is another house with five other nationalities as well!) We all work together, we all live together and it can be one heck of a challenge. But, it's also a ton of fun and I learn something from one of my housemates every single day. My mindset has totally shifted, and I know I'm going to come back to America in August and do something out of the ordinary that my parents give me VERY strange looks over.
Not to worry, I've gotten a fair share of odd looks here in Ireland too. I felt like a zoo animal the first time I put crackers in my soup, because no one does that here. And it's weird from both sides. Sometimes in our living room, there is a conversation going on in Spanish, one person is trying to translate a different English conversation into French and I often get stuck in the middle because I know English, and that's it (thanks American education system.)
I love hearing the girl from Spain and the guy from Mexico talk to each other, because the language is majorly the same, but you can hear the different inflections and syllables if you listen closely. It was almost a week before I realized that one of my roommates didn't speak English as his first language (it's Mandarin, if you were wondering) and I'm learning to pick up words in French from the guy that most recently moved in. There is one other American in the house, but she speaks basic French and Spanish, so she communicates with everyone, and I often feel like I'm in a strange twilight zone episode where everyone understands everyone else and I'm the odd one out (not true at all since English is primarily spoken by everyone), but that's the way it can feel, especially coming from a tiny town in southern United States that wasn't exposed to the culture out in the world.
Some people speak English really well, and some have conversational English and are here to learn more, but it's hard to come by a night in our house where every single person is always on the same page. We all speak the language of food though, and I find that conversations usually find their way back to what one country or another has that others don't. As it turns out, we all share a common interest in learning about other cultures, and that is truly amazing.
I absolutely love living with the people I do, and even though it can be tough, whether it's me not understanding their language at times or them not understanding mine, I wouldn't want to live with any other group of amazing humans.