Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I decided to study in the United States because it has an excellent system of education, and also because I like the country and there’s a great market for me to pursue my musical career.
Why did you choose Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC)?
I chose SRJC because it is located in a city that I already knew and a city that I liked since I was in high school. I was an exchange student in Santa Rosa in 2004. SRJC was highly recommended to me, and I became interested in it because of its facilities and high quality. Santa Rosa and the entire state of California are a blessing with a pleasant temperature, modern culture and friendly people.
What do you like best about your program?
What I like best about my program is that it gives me an opportunity to work and get involved with things I like, such as music and sound. Being able to have a hands-on experience is motivating and gratifying.
What do you miss most about home?
I miss my family, my dogs, my friends, and the places we used to go to together, such as concerts and soccer games.
What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?
What surprised me most about US life and education is the quality of teaching and students’ attitude and interest in the classes. They focus on what they’re supposed to do and take their projects seriously.
... your biggest disappointment?
I thought there would be more possibilities to find scholarships and less work restrictions for international students. Being unable to work makes education here very expensive.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I try to communicate and practice English every day by watching movies and series and listening to music in English.
I save as much as possible and I spend money only when it’s really necessary.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
I keep a positive attitude in classes, and I do whatever the teachers ask us to do.
What are your activities?
I’m just taking my digital media/audio program classes, and I’m also practicing to participate in SRJC’s soccer team. I haven’t participated in any school sponsored activities or trips, except for the new international students’ Welcome Day. Every week, my host family and I do something different. We go to concerts, restaurants, the beach, etc.
How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?
Classes have just started and I haven’t had enough time or opportunities to go out and have fun and make new friends. But I believe making new friends is just a matter of time.
What are your career goals? How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My goals at the moment are to improve myself and work with audio in studios and become a sound engineering in addition to being a musician. I believe my US education will help me a lot in this area. I also think that my country needs a lot of qualified professionals in this area.
What is your advice to other students from your country who are considering a U.S. education?
Consider what you want to achieve and then commit to it for your dreams to come true. Research your schools options to find the university and location that best fit your needs. Study and practice English as much as possible as it will be extremely useful to you. But keep in mind that this is a challenging and unique experience and one that can bring lots of rewards, not only in the end, but also throughout the entire journey. By the way, if you would like to access my social network and get to know more about my music and my work, please visit “www.benroots.com // instagram.com/benroots” and follow me on “facebook.com/benrootsoficial”. Thank you!