Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I believe the US offers the best education in Business Analytics, which is the field that I’m pursuing for graduate school. In addition, it is the perfect place for me to develop my skills and expand my horizons.
Why did you choose the University of Texas, Austin?
I chose the University of Texas because of its location, and because I have relatives in Austin. Austin is also an exciting city with students from all over the world.
What do you like best about studying here?
I love the freedom and flexibility that I have as a student. There are a lot more career choices here than at the universities in Venezuela. I also enjoy learning about American culture.
What do you miss most about home?
I miss Venezuelan food, and my friends and my family.
How long have you been studying here? How has your English improved?
I have been studying here for one and a half years. My English has improved dramatically. My TOEFL score increased by 10 points, and I am now prepared to apply for graduate school. I feel ready to interact in class and I feel especially confident about my writing skills.
What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?
From an educational perspective, my biggest surprise was how much the teachers care about the success of their students.
...your biggest disappointment?
My biggest disappointment was how expensive life can be for international students. In addition, being on a student visa, you are subject to certain conditions and restrictions which makes your life not so easy in terms of getting a job.
How have you handled:
I made a lot of American friends who helped me navigate the language barriers. Also, I have noticed that people are generally willing to help you learn idiomatic phrases when they realize you’re an international student.
My family helps me financially, and I got a job at the university CO-OP bookstore.
...adjusting to a different educational system?
I rely heavily on the international office and my teachers. Everyone was extremely helpful during my adjustment.
What kind of activities did you take part in?
I volunteered at the Zoo. I participated in a heart health run and I work part time.
How easy or difficult was making friends in the USA?
It was very easy. I have friends from the USA, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and many other countries. In fact, my boyfriend is from the US.
What are your career goals? How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My goal is to be a business analyst at an impact investing firm. My education in the US is going to help me get a master’s degree in Business Analytics and a job with an investment firm. With that type of education, I can turn my ambition of helping my country into reality.