An interview with Timea Kungle Muro, in The English Language Program of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville
What do you like best about studying here?
Everyone is so nice. I like the atmosphere in the ELP and on the UNF campus. I seemed to open up and forget my shyness after I began to study here.
What do you miss most about home?
I miss everything, especially my family and friends. I am sad that I cannot clearly express myself in English, but my English is getting better everyday.
How has your English improved?
I have been studying English for two semesters. My English has improved a lot since I have been here, especially my speaking. I don't feel ready to enter the university yet so I am going to keep studying English until I become more competent with my language skills.
What was your biggest surprise?
I cannot compare my education here with education in my country. Teachers in the United States are most helpful. They evaluate students individually and provide what individual students need.
... your biggest disappointment?
I have not been disappointed in this adventure in my life. If I were disappointed, I would have gone home, but I am happy for this opportunity.
How have you handled: ... language differences?
By laughing and trying again and again. I can handle lots of things. My willpower is important to handling differences.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
It was easy to adjust because I feel the teachers are so caring. In my country, the system is stringent but not more efficient.
What are your activities?
I always read. I like the ELP reading club after class. I also like to volunteer with my classmates at the homeless shelter and senior centers in Jacksonville. I like to go on the ELP class trips to see areas around Jacksonville and I enjoy my classmates and teachers on these trips. I have been to a museum to view the visiting Egyptian art exhibit and to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and for a walk around this historic city.
How easy is making friends in the USA?
Most of my time I spend with my classmates. I feel most confident with my language when I am with them. I do have a U.S. language partner and enjoy my contact with her.
How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I would like to apply to UNF and do a master's degree in psychology. Psychology is good profession in my country. It is a very respected profession, so I know that if I got this degree, I could easily find a job in my country.
What is your advice to other students who are considering studying English in America?
Put a smile on your face. Be an optimist. This is not just learning – it is fun!