CHICAGO – For years, international students have received video links the summer before arriving at Booth, courtesy of Dreambridge Partners and the Admissions Office. These videos help familiarize international students with American life and culture, in order to make the transition as seamless as possible. However, after feedback from students that the mandatory videos felt cheesy and stilted, the administration decided to produce their own film, “Harry and Kumar go to White Castle,” to help international students before their big move.
The administration started showing the film to the Round 1 admits in March.
“The movie taught me so much about America. Americans will do the craziest things to ensure that they eat their shitty food!” said Sergio Morales, an admit from Spain.
The film features Professor Harry Davis and Dean Sunil Kumar driving across the city to a White Castle, a fast-food restaurant with moderately delicious steamed hamburgers. Along the way, they encounter a number of characters and situations that represent the different cultural boundaries they must navigate. Throughout the film, Dean Kumar, representing the new international student, makes many mistakes due to a lack of cultural understanding.
“It was great to learn that I can just throw trash wherever I please…”, says Maru Kobayashi, 2016 admit from Kyoto, Japan.
In one scene, Dean Kumar picks up a hitchhiker along the way, who turns out to be “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris. Unfortunately, Neil Patrick Harris ends up stealing Harry and Kumar’s car at a gas station. Harry reminds Kumar (and the camera) saying, “Never trust an American with your car. If they don’t steal it, at the minimum they will leave French fries stuck between the center console and the driver’s seat. Infuriating.”
The film ends with Dean Kumar devouring 30 sliders, 5 orders of fries, and 4 cherry Cokes. Once again, while Dean Kumar is almost fully assimilated at this point, Harry has a quick correction, “actually, 4 diet cherry Cokes,” to show Dean Kumar the perfect American order.