Hui Zhu, from China, is a sophomore studying Accounting at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in Reno, Nevada. She is pursuing a university-transfer degree at TMCC so she can transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I thought coming to the USA would be an amazing experience with learning language, culture, and different education.
Why did you choose Truckee Meadows Community College?
The first time I came here I studied English in Intensive English Language Center (IELC) at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Afterwards, I attended the ESL program at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) for a semester before I got into my major courses. TMCC also provides free ESL classes at Meadowood Mall Center for everyone from other countries.
I chose TMCC for the first two years because the tuition fee is half cheaper than UNR, and it provides free parking lots. After I graduate from TMCC, I can transfer to UNR to get my bachelor’s degree. TMCC has an agreement with all the universities in Nevada.
What do you like best?
I like the way teachers are teaching. It’s not like university where some professors talk about something else, like what is happening in their families, and give exams that are not mentioned in the classes.
What do you miss most?
I mostly miss the food and my family.
How has your education helped you for future study at a university?
I have been studying here for more than three years. My English has improved a lot even though my speaking is still not very good. However, I am studying hard in class and after class. I believe that studying at TMCC will get me used to listening to the way and speed professors are speaking, as well as the group studying.
What was your biggest surprise?
We are not required to live in dorms, and the education methods are different. In the USA, the education is connected with the real world (called case study), and we are given projects that are similar the real world.
... your biggest disappointment?
I don’t like the transportation in Reno, Nevada. I think because Reno is a small city, not like Beijing, there are not many buses, and it is not very convenient.
How have you handled: ... language differences?
It takes time to get used to it. I had to have time to understand the American jokes. However, watching movies is a good way to learn the language, and making friends is also a good way for me to practice it.
All the tuition fees and life expenses are coming from my family, but sometimes I can work part-time on campus to earn rent. Also, I am applying to a scholarship at TMCC, and I am getting another opportunity to have a scholarship internship next semester.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
It is a really different educational system, but I like it more than Chinese education.
What are your activities?
I only participate in the Chinese-talk-talk at UNR right now because some clubs at TMCC conflict with my class time.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I want to be an accountant. America is a very developed country, but China is a developing country. I believe that what I learn in the USA will help me a lot in my own career and in the needs of my country.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
I just want to say that if you are self-aware, and self-controlling in studying and in life, you are ready to go.