Callista Ziwei Chim, from Malaysia, is studying Economics at Truckee Meadows Community College

Callista Ziwei Chim, from Malaysia, is studying Economics at Truckee Meadows Community College

Why did you decide to study in the U.S.A.?

When I made up my mind to pursue a degree in the business field, I chose the USA. America is a busy junction of long economic history, strong economic power and many talented businesspeople who have made great breakthroughs. That’s why I picked The States. Also, the credit-based system used in universities allows students to change their degrees easily as compared to colleges of other countries.

How did you choose your university or intensive English program? Please mention such factors as location, reputation, special programs offered. What attracted you to this school?

TMCC might not be located in a big city, but I like the calm and quiet environment. Moreover, choosing to study in a community college costs a lot less than heading to university straight away. Although there is a huge difference in price, this does not mean the education received is lower quality. In fact, all my professors are experienced in their domain and are always willing to help out. The class size is small, creating a comfortable learning environment. Students in TMCC can also easily transfer their credits to the University of Nevada, Reno to complete their tertiary education.

What do you like best about studying here?

Studying abroad is a very meaningful experience in one’s life. Amidst the days of learning to become independent, I can experience living in a foreign country and meet friends from all around the world. I am very grateful for that.

What do you miss most about home?

Living far away from home makes me miss my family and friends. From time to time, I also think about food from home.

How long have you been studying here? How has your English improved? How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?

It’s been half a year since I’ve arrived in the USA. This past 6 months, I have continuously pushed myself to use English while communicating with friends. In college, there aren’t many people who speak Mandarin. Thus, under these circumstances, I was forced to converse more in English. I gradually found myself being able to fluently speak English soon and I feel less nervous and shy while using a new language. My confidence in my English skills has gone up significantly.

What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?

Making new friends in a foreign environment is not an easy task. At first, I had the impression of Americans being friendly and welcoming. They are, but I had to have the courage to make the first move. Once I started communicating with them, then they would treat me with kindness. So, be confident and brave to start the conversation.

your biggest disappointment?

Since I’m not living in a huge city, transportation gets tricky sometimes.

 How have you handled:

...Language differences?

If one puts in the effort, language differences are not obstacles. ...Finances?

Spend wisely. Working on-campus while in school is also a good way to earn some pocket money.

...Adjusting to a different educational system? ......​

Getting used to the American educational system is not difficult. The education system here provides students with a lot of freedom. So, having discipline and good time management is crucial.

 What are your activities ?

In college, there’s an International Club that welcomes not only international students but American students as well. This promotes communication between students. There are also a lot of free activities to join in on campus which creates a very welcoming environment for students.

How easy or difficult is making friends in the U.S.A.?

If you are willing to make the first step, making friends is no problem. Building up the courage to make the first step was the obstacle for me.

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

Economics may be a subject that heavily relies on textbook and theories, but as countries are less bounded by borders, the international market will continue to grow and prosper. Economics is a dynamic subject that changes with the trends. The USA has economic power that is known by the world: having strong economic influences and a long, rich history in the world market. The reason I chose to study economics in America is that I wanted to improve my language skills and to learn more about the practical side of economics. This gives me the upper hand when I step into the real world.

What is your advice to other students from your country who are considering studying in the U.S.A.?

Although studying abroad in a country far away from home sounds scary, but the experience is worth it. Being able to study abroad makes me very grateful for this chance.

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