Catherine Ann, from Johannesburg, South Africa, is majoring in Psychology at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois

Catherine Ann, from Johannesburg, South Africa, is majoring in Psychology at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

I decided to study in the United States because there is an abundance of opportunity and great schools to attend to obtain a world class education.

What do you like best about studying Elgin Community College?

I love the school environment. It is always well structured and all my professors and support faculty want their students to succeed. There are a lot of additional tutoring programs if you run into any difficulties with your school work.

What do you miss most about home?

I miss the food from home and I miss my Mom!

How long have you been studying here?

I have been studying here for one year!

How has your English improved?

Even though British-English is my first language, American English has some differences and I have integrated well in the class room.

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

The food! And everything is enormous!

... your biggest disappointment?

I don’t have any disappointments! And I don’t think I will!!

How have you handled: language differences?

On occasion, people don’t understand my accent or my pronunciation of certain words is different, most of the time, we end up having a good giggle.

... finances?

The U.S. dollar is a strong currency, and the South African rand is a very poor, weak currency. I have a great job on campus which affords me the opportunity to get out and see the city.

It is important to keep a budget. Always! Gas prices are very erratic.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

Keep an open mind, most of it comes very easily! The education system is great!

How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?

It has been easy for me to make friends here and it is easy to find like-minded people in class and around the campus. Hanging out with people from student associations on campus with similar interests is a great place to start.

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

My career goal is to practice clinical psychology and give back to my community.

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

Apply! Don’t pass up on any opportunity you may have to study in the U.S.A. You will, without a doubt, receive a world class education and an amazing life experience. You will definitely leave being able to speak, read, write and understand English well!

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