Marta Santone, from Brazil, is studying English at Lake Washington Technical Institute in Kirkland, Washington.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
Because I wanted to be fluent in English and also to grow in my professional career.
Why did you choose Lake Washington Technical Institute (LWTech)?
I have a friend who studied at LWTech and when I talked about the desire to study abroad, he recommended LWTech. I researched everything about the ollege and simply fell in love with all the possibilities and resources that it offered.
What do you like best about your college?
The resources and support I have through the International Students Office, and even the fact that my classmates help me when I have any difficulties.
What do you miss most about home?
How long have you been studying here? How has your English improved?
I've been studying here for almost 2 years. My English has improved a lot. I even got a job on campus. The classes and activities help me to improve my self-confidence, and I’m not afraid of judgments.
What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?
The care that teachers and many students have towards international students. They understand that English is not our native language. They’re always trying to help and they don't embarrass you when they don't understand something. And we manage to communicate and that is the most important thing.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
Studying hard and doing my best! Watching videos to understand the culture, learning "what to say" or "what not to say" and trying to understand what is more appropriate or not.
I came prepared for the costs, and my husband and I continued with some work in Brazil. This supported us for a long time until I got a job on campus and a scholarship.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
It was not so difficult because I am very disciplined and focused on what I want.
What are your activities?
I belong to two clubs – “Design” and “International Students”. I usually take part in the activities organized by the school, and there are a lot of activities outside the campus as well.
How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?
Very easy! As I said, people try to help you, and gradually you will feel safe and confident.
I already attended an American church with a few Brazilians. And after being here for 6 months, I was already singing in the church. Today, I have many American friends.
What are your career goals? How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
Studying in the USA will certainly be useful to achieve my professional goals. One of them is to become a Graphic Designer, and being able to work from home with other countries. I would also like to have own company and conquer the world.
What is your advice to other students from your country who are considering a U.S. education?
Just come! Do not waste time because time passes so quickly, and only you can decide what to do with it. Whether your time here will mean something, such as a graduation or another graduation, or if you will continue to do the same things, you should come. But don’t forget to get organized, plan financially, have goals, be focused, disciplined and make an effort and you will be able to achieve all your goals.
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Marta Santone, from Brazil, is studying English at Lake Washington Technical Institute (LWTech) in Kirkland, Washington.
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