DePauw has seen a rapid increase in the number of international students in the past several years. This is, undoubtedly, a wonderful development for the culture of our campus. At the same time, faculty and staff have noticed that many of these students continue to struggle with language issues in and out of the classroom. What does this mean for the way we approach our teaching of international students, especially as we try to ensure that all of our students get the most out of our courses? How do we grade work by students for whom the language itself is a significant barrier? How do we assess learning in relationship to grades? The following essay, written by an undergraduate student from China studying in the U.S., delves into the realities of the bind that many international students find themselves in: between achieving good grades and feeling adrift in a different and often intimidating language culture.