Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I decided to study in the USA because there are so many great opportunities in the e-sports world, and the quality of the education is very high compared to Latin American countries. Also, the collegiate e-sports scene in the United States is one of the most developed in the world. This means that those who have talent in online video games have an opportunity to have access to education through e-sports scholarships.
How did you choose your intensive English program? What attracted you to your particular school? Why is it a special place?
One of my passions ever since I was a kid is computers. I was very intrigued in how they worked, and I wanted to learn more about them. For this reason, I choose the IT program at Bay State College. The professors have real-life experience and are very qualified in the IT world. On top of that, the IT office at Bay State College offers work-study positions, giving students a great opportunity to learn more from the professionals.
What do you like best about studying here?
The most likeable feature of Bay State College is the close interaction with professors during classes. Each class has a low number of students, which lets you have more time with the professor. If you have any question, the professor takes the time to explain it to you, until the professor is sure that you got your doubts cleared. This has made my experience of learning very enjoyable. During my first year, I was afraid that learning was going to be difficult because of the language barrier but I have not faced any difficulties thanks to the help of the professors.
What do you miss most about home?
I can’t complain about the food in the USA, but I still miss the food from home. Mostly for breakfast, in Venezuela we have cachapas, arepas, tequeños, and empanadas. There are some Venezuelan restaurants that sell these types of food here, but it does not feel the same as the ones that are made in Venezuela.
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 have been studying for one year so far. I have learned more vocabulary and my pronunciation has most definitely gotten better as I talk with my friends and participate in class.
What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?
My biggest surprise has been how advanced the technology is, there are so many different tools that help give a better quality of education to all the students. Starting from the computers accessible to the students, to the fast printers, and the student ID cards that allow you to access certain doors or parts of the building depending on the permissions that you are given.
... your biggest disappointment?
My biggest disappointment has been the low respect that younger generations have of the elderly and adults. There is a slight respect, but in Venezuela, we are much formal when addressing faculty members or older people than us in general.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I have not had problems because of the language barrier, my vocabulary is very wide and is only getting wider as I continue my studies. If I were to have difficulties, I would reach out to other classmates or friends to discuss or debate a certain topic to make it easier to understand.
Finances have been a completely new experience, there are many things that we do differently in Venezuela. For example, the taxing process. In Venezuela the taxes are added to the price of the goods and services and are called “IVA.”
... adjusting to a different educational system?
The education system is very different than in Venezuela, but I have not had any problems adjusting. The point-based system is very clear and easy to understand. Also, the GPA gives you a good idea of your overall performance.
What are your activities?
The main activity that I spent most of my time on is the e-sports Varsity League of Legends team. We have set practice times, in which the whole team gathers to practice competing against other educational institutions. Also, during my second semester at Bay State College I was a community advisor for the dorms. Part of my responsibilities was to sit at the front desk and check anyone who came into the building.
How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?
It has been fairly easy to make new friends in the USA, everyone is very friendly, and you can always find people who have the same interests as you.
What are your career goals? How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I want to be able to become an expert in my field. Also, I want to be very successful when it comes to developing mobile apps. This requires technology that we do not have access to in Venezuela. In the long term, an education in the USA will be more beneficial to me.
What is your advice to other students from your country who are considering studying English in the USA?
Studying in a different country will give anyone valuable cultural experiences that you can not acquire otherwise. In my opinion, putting in the necessary time to learn English, and being able to study in the USA is going to be worth it, no matter how challenging learning a new language can be.