Livia Halim from Indonesia is studying for her Associate’s degree in Computer Science at Cascadia College in Bothell, Washington
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
My country is a developing country, so I figured I would be able to expand my knowledge further by going to a high-tech country.
Why did you choose Cascadia College?
Cascadia College has been ranked one of the top three best colleges in the United States. I was told that there were fewer international students here, and that going to this place would make me practice my English more with the native people. Also, Cascadia College shares facilities with the University of Washington-Bothell.
What do you like best?
What I like best is the adequate class size in this school because it enables me to keep up easily with the program.
What do you miss most?
I miss family, friends, and the food. Luckily, the people here are very welcoming, and the food is delicious too, so it keeps me from getting homesick.
What was your biggest surprise?
My biggest surprise is how free we are to express our ideas in class. We are asked to really be an active participant.
... your biggest disappointment?
My biggest disappointment is how hard it is to get into advanced classes because they fill up easily. In my home country, we get our programs’ classes reserved for us. Here, we really have to take care of everything ourselves. I won’t say that it is a disappointment though, because it pushes me to be more responsible.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I make sure to communicate in English as often as possible. Although, I have friends who speak the same language here, I try to speak in English with them, too.
Schools provide many scholarship opportunities. We have to write essays and prove ability in maintaining academic performance to get the scholarships. As long as we are determined, everything should be easy to accomplish.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
I make sure to communicate my needs to instructors, so I know that I’m in good shape. I make sure that I understand what is being taught and what is assigned for me to do.
What are your activities?
I live in a homestay program with a family from Colombia. I work for the International Programs Office as an Office Assistant and Marketing Assistant.
I co-founded the Cascadia Indonesian Club and am a member of the Creative Arts Club and Rotaract Club. I am also committed to many volunteer activities, such as Black and Orange Gala, Seahawks Tackle Hunger, Food Lifeline, etc.
How easy or difficult was making friends?
It is very easy as long as we can use our English in a decent way. The people are very into diversity, so you will meet nice people.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I want to go become an application developer after I finish my studies here in the United States. U.S. education provides me with the knowledge and skills to be eligible to work in the computer science industry.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
Make sure to get the most out of your education here in the U.S. Be very active in joining activities and events, other than being an academic achiever in class. Make lots and lots of friends!