Why did you decide to study in the USA?
Because there are a lot more opportunities over here when it comes to careers and education. Also, the lifestyle in California attracted me.
Why did you choose Golden West College?
My older brother was an international student at Golden West College about a decade ago, as well. His experiences and recommendation, plus the friendly, inviting staff and faculty endorsed my decision to start my educational path at Golden West College.
What do you like best?
The atmosphere on campus. Everybody is helpful and comforting. Making friends is very easy here, and I’m not talking about just acquaintances.
What do you miss most?
My family and friends, and believe it or not, Bratwurst with Broetchen! Also, in the beginning it was the feeling of familiarity, but now I feel like I’ve found my second home in California.
What was your biggest surprise?
I was very bamboozled when I first got here and random people would greet me! I did not know that this was a thing in California, saying “Hi” to anyone, but I like it! For education, I would say receiving help so easily! In addition, the relationships students build with their professors, how easy some of them are to talk to, and how understanding they are!
... your biggest disappointment?
The high cost of groceries, which makes healthy living more difficult.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I speak four languages and I did not think that English could be problem for me. But once I got here, I figured out that I still have to expand my vocabulary, especially, when it comes to colloquial language. My motto is to just ask or write it down for later, if I can’t use my google-translating app right away. Usually interesting conversations evolve through the language differences!
Being financially dependent on my family is something I was and will not get used to.
Thankfully, I am blessed to work on campus. Also, I have applied and received scholarships from my college that helped me focus more on my studies and feel less of a financial burden to my family. With guidance and patience, it all comes together.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
At first, it was challenging and confusing what a 4.0 GPA meant, but once I received my first unofficial transcripts it all made sense. You get adjusted quicker than you think!
What are your activities?
The international student program at Golden West College organizes many different activities for the students, like ice-skating, trampoline, pumpkin carving, celebration of colors (Holi Festival), and much more. Apart of that I am also a member of Alpha Gamma Sigma, the honor society of our school, where we go for beach clean ups, help out at soup kitchens, kayaking, zip lining and again do many more fun and noble things. In my first year, I was also part of student council as a delegate of the finance and student activities committee.
How easy or difficult was making friends?
I think it’s easy but of course, it also depends on your personality. Especially among us students, I believe because we are all in the same boat, trying to receive a higher education. We study together, cry together, party together!
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My dream is to become a doctor of dental surgery and work with Doctors Without Borders. It would be the best of both worlds for me to work and help people while traveling the world.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
In Persian, there’s a saying that you cannot expect to enter any water and not get wet feet.
I think you have to expect some struggles of course, because you are coming to a foreign country with different cultures than yours. However, it all comes down to you striving for a better future and your persistence. Just believe in yourself, come over here, get involved with the community and enjoy growing with new adventures!