Ziwei Chen is from China, studying both ESL and Interaction Design at UT Austin in Austin, Texas

Ziwei Chen is from China, studying both ESL and Interaction Design at UT Austin in Austin, Texas

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

The USA has better foundations for the professional study of Interaction Design and Computer Science fields. Studying in the USA is the best choice for me because I want to continue studying for my master’s degree and learn advanced design methods. Compared to Chinese Universities, the universities here are the frontier of Interaction Design, plus they have more resources and more internship opportunities.

How did you choose your intensive English program?

I chose UT Austin ESL program. First, UT Austin is located in the capital city of Texas, and I like it here; the temperate climate and friendly environment. Second, UT Austin is a famous public university in the USA, many of their subjects are ranked in the Top 10. UT Austin ESL program is professional, the teachers have more experience in teaching ESL classes, and they can help students improve their English.

What do you like best about studying here?

I think the teachers and classes are the best. The teachers are not only humorous, but also have their own teaching strategy. Although I only came here 6 months ago, I feel my English has improved, obviously.

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?

I’ve been here for 6 months. Although my reading and writing need more improvement, I can feel my speaking and listening skills have improved quickly. My program is an Academic English Program, so our class is more focused on academic parts, such as writing essays, preparing presentations and reading articles. These classes helped me get used to graduate school classes.

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

I really like the classroom atmosphere in the U.S., I feel like it’s casual and relaxed, and there is more care about the interaction with professors.

How have you handled:

... language differences?

When I communicate with friends from different countries, even though we use different languages, we can use gestures to help our dialogue.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

It is easy to adjust because the classes in U.S. are more casual and interesting.

What are your activities (clubs, sports, student associations, travel, homestay programs, special activities or trips sponsored by your Intensive English Program)?

Traveling the U.S. with friends, and attending programs hosted by ESL, such as Talk Time, Language Partnership Program, etc.

How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?

If you are willing to participate in social activities and are willing to communicate with others, it is easy to make friends from different countries.

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

In the future, I will return to China to work on Interaction Design.

What is your advice to other students from your country who are considering studying English in the USA?

Although academics are important, they still have to participate in social activities. In addition to their friends from home, they can recognize friends from all over the world.

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