Juan David from Colombia: Studying English at the English Institute at Howard Community College

Juan David from Colombia: Studying English at the English Institute at Howard Community College


Juan David from Colombia is studying English at the English Institute at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. His goal is to transfer to university to study International Relations.

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

I decided to study in the USA because it is an excellent place to study to support my career goals.

Why did you choose Howard Community College?

I chose this program because it is one of the best programs in the USA, and I like the northern U.S.

What do you like best?

I like meeting new friends from other countries and practicing English with them.

What do you miss most?

I miss the traditional food of my country and the transportation because it is easier to travel by bus there.

How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?

I have been studying here five months. The program has helped me to improve my English. For example, I can communicate better when I need to buy or ask for something. My reading and writing have also improved, which is important because when I transfer to university I will need to write essays.

What was your biggest surprise?

My biggest surprise about U.S. life is that the American people don’t cook with a lot of vegetables or fruits. Education is different because there are a lot of activities with classmates.

... your biggest disappointment?

My biggest disappointment is that there is a long process to get a driver’s license or other identification.     

How have you handled:

... language differences?

I have practiced idioms so that I understand common phrases that Americans use that do not translate easily.

... finances?

Finances are difficult because the economy is very different in my country.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

It has not been complicated to adjust to the educational system because it is similar in my country.

What are your activities?

I participated in many activities: traveling to New York City, a welcome party for new students, a social hour with American volunteers every Thursday, and playing soccer with students from many different countries once a week on the college fields.

How easy or difficult was making friends?

It’s very easy to make new friends because most people are very friendly.

How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country? 

My career goal is to finish the English program so I can study International Relations. I need to learn the English language to be successful in my career.

What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?

My advice to other students from my country is that studying in the USA is an excellent opportunity to improve your career and achieve your goals. You can meet a lot of friendly and amazing people.

Howard Community College

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