Primpin' All Over the World: International Students on Style

From Canada to Norway, international students venture to The University of Texas at Austin to experience the Longhorn lifestyle. ORANGE talked to some international students about the influence of their culture and Austin on their personal style.

Story by Callie Parish
Photos by Maddy Hill 

Emilie Froyland, Norway

Emilie Froyland moved to Austin in the fall of 2013 from Stavanger, Norway. She studies corporate communications with a minor in business.

Froyland describes Scandinavian style as minimalistic and clean cut with a more limited and neutral color palette. After living in Austin for a year and a half, she notes that the United States “has more of a laid back approach to style with sporty elements and a wider variety of color.” Froyland mentions that when she first arrived she thought everyone was going to work out.

Froyland’s style has adapted to the weather. In Norway, she rarely had the chance to wear cute spring and summer clothes. Here, she enjoys dressing for warmer weather almost year round.

A brand Froyland loves: Acne


Lauren Nail, Canada

Lauren Nail sports a fashionable thrift shop find, a hat by Patricia Underwood, as well as her signature red lip. Born and raised near Toronto in St. Catharines, Canada, Nail moved to Austin in the fall the of 2013 for the opportunity to competitively row at UT. Nail is a advertising sophomore.

Since moving to Austin, Nail has experienced a lifestyle change of sorts. The first time she visited UT, she joked with her friends that the girls wore dresses to class, or rather t-shirt dresses. Hypothetically, if Nail attended Brock University near her hometown, she might have worn heels to class every day. Instead, this casual atmosphere has transformed her daily style. Despite some cultural differences, Nail prefers the shopping in Austin. “There’s more variety and it’s cheaper.”

A Canadian brand Nail loves: Root


Marta Ruiz, Spain

Marta Ruiz is a junior at the Esade Business School in Barcelona, Spain, but she is studying at UT for the spring semester of 2015. Ruiz knew she wanted to study in the United States and was drawn to the south and Austin in particular.

Ruiz loves to wear black, sleek outfits. Here, Ruiz wears a fur vest, typical of her winter style, and platform shoes from Un Paso Mas. Though Ruiz prefers shopping in Spain, she also likes shopping in Austin because it’s different and cheaper.

Ruiz notices that students don’t really dress up here in Austin. According to Ruiz, the Spanish would not approve of the overtly-casual attire in the United States. “You would never think about going to class in sweatpants,” Ruiz says. Some days, if she’s really sleepy, she may wear casual clothes to class, but this outfit is typical of her day-to-day style.

Brands Ruiz Loves: Zara, Stradivarius, Brandy Melville


Alexander Thorstvedt, Norway

When Alexander Thorstvedt moved from Stavanger, Norway to Austin in January of 2014, he wanted to experience the American culture and the Austin music scene. Like his girlfriend, Froyland, Thorstvedt is a junior studying corporate communications.

Thorstvedt has definitely noticed a difference between style in the U.S. and Norway. Though Thorstvedt wouldn’t be caught in light blue Wranglers and cowboy boots, he does appreciate the style. “It’s not for me, but I think it’s way cool since you’d never see that in Norway,” Thorstvedt says. Thorstvedt sticks to his original clothing choices. He chooses not to shop in Austin and instead saves his money for rent and tacos.

Brands Thorstvedt likes: Acne, Our Legacy, Saturdays NYC


Emily Whalley, England

Emily Whalley arrived to Austin in the fall of 2014, from Cambridge, England. Whalley studies history and claims that it is her love of Friday Night Lights that attracted her to Texas.

Although Whalley has adapted some Austinite styles for occasions like football games, she says 100 degree heat isn’t exactly compatible with the amount of black in her wardrobe. Despite the warmer weather, Whalley’s style as a whole has not changed. “My main thing I have noticed is hipsters back home basically dress like frat guys here, but with better trainers [sneakers],” Whalley says.

Brands Whalley loves: Topshop, Monki