International Student Faces Discrimination While Taking Driving Test

We all have stories of what it was like taking our driving test so we can get a license. Check out the experience one international student had and share your own.

Cindy Osorio is an international student from Honduras. She was a student featured in the  article From Honduras to USA, Education Lighting the Way in the first issue of ISV Magazine. She arrived in Chicago in Fall 2011 to study and she  keeps the ISV team updated on her life in the U.S. Recently she took the driver’s license test and her experience was not what she expected.

Yeah I was getting close to getting my driver’s license, but I didn’t get it because I had a problem of discrimination in the driver place so I failed.  That issue put my confidence to drive in a bad position.

I had a lady instructor in the driver place. Since the first moment she got into the car, I said hello and introduced myself properly. She didn’t , she didn’t want to touch me and also she made fun of my size because I’m little.

Then in each part of the test she yelled me.

“Do you UNDERSTAND?”

And she kept telling me that “people like me are always the same”. She meant that people in my culture are the same, failing or bad drivers or nasty because she was saying that all the time.

You know it was horrible. When I finish I said, “I failed, right?” And she replied, “You were a disaster. You are a disaster.”

When we returned then she saw the family that I live with and they were Americans. She started to act different.

This is one of many issues that international students have most of the time,  especially new like me here in this country. If it happened to me it’s probably happened to other International students. People think that everybody [international] is bad.

I have to try again, but in a while.  I have the licence from my country and I can drive, but to go around it is necessary to have a licence from the U.S.

That is why I love so much the ISV magazine because it is a great way to help others though their stories. It is really amazing how many things you can learn about other cultures and students as well.

Are you an International student studying in the United States and you took the American driver’s license test? Or as an International student have you been a victim of stereotypes or discrimination? Share your experience by commenting below or share on our Facebook page.

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11 comments

  1. I had a similar experience getting my driver’s license. Since the beginning the lady was pretty rude with me until the time I passed a yellow light and she decided to yell at me saying that I could not have done that. That was enough. So I yelled back at her and told her that I’ve been driving for 4 years and I know the rules and yellow light does not means I have to stop. Also if I had tried to stop in the speed that I was I’d probably cause an accident specially because the road was wet. So she should consult her drivers guide before telling me what I should not do. After that we remained in silence and I thought she would fail me but for my surprise I PASSED!!!! I guess she just needed someone to lower her attitude.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Heloisa! Wow, the ISV Magazine team agrees, that is rude. But at least you still passed!! 🙂

  3. Woow! Thanks again for sharing your story …. And I’m happy you passed.

  4. Some people are just rude in nature. I think that the people who administer these driving test, sometimes wake up in the wrong side of the bed and act unprofessionally. And if you are taking the test on that day, you are out of luck. You will fail. Being foreign and having an accent does not help your case at all. However, I do want to say that there are some driving test conductors that are very professional, supportive and encouraging at all times. I’ve encountered both types many years ago. My advice for you Cindy, would be to try and take the test at a different BMV. Don’t give up. I’m sure you wil pass next time. Good luck to you and let us know when you get your license 🙂

  5. As an American, I can tell you that this problem happens more often than you think. I failed the first driving test I took because I was so intimidated by my instructor. I was so affected by her attitude that my hands shook during the parking test–I didn’t make it out of the parking lot! My advice is to be yourself and do what you can to help you feel relaxed and confident. The second time I took the test I made sure to be mentally prepared, like not letting an opponent get to you during a competition. It was much easier for me after that. I contribute this story not to lessen what others have experienced, but to share that this can be an intimidating experience even for those of us who are familiar with American culture and know what to expect.

  6. Thank you so much Rachel for share your experience too!! It is for sure this experiences happens to everybody.

  7. they should not rude to us (international student).. they have to remember that we are having the same blood color and born from the same place.. thanks for sharing so people can learn from this story…

  8. It is true that I had faced language (racial) discrimination during driver test. I had experience to drive so many years in my country, but I failed. in my city, most international student go to other cities because they are avoiding to fail in test.

  9. Thank you all for sharing your stories and testimonies. I am getting ready to go for the drivers licence test. I have been once but they said they couldn’t find me in the system. At my second attempt, I checked the website the night before I went and there was some new regulation added to the proof of address requirements: a letter from your employer (in addition to the bank statement which I intended to use as a proof of address)… Well, most International Students don’t have an “employer”!

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