Kristianto, from Indonesia, is a sophomore majoring in Business Administration at Bellevue College, located in Bellevue, Washington.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I want to expand my connections, meet new people and learn about other cultures.
Why did you choose Bellevue College?
I chose Bellevue College because of its great location. It's not too urban or too rural. I saw posts on CNN Money that listed Bellevue as #4 best place to live in the U.S. as well as the best place to launch a business. I chose Bellevue College because of the many academic and students programs it has to offer. I went to an agent and look at a list of colleges and did my own research on each of them. When I researched on Bellevue College, I found out that there are many student clubs and programs outside of classes that are available for students to join. Bellevue College is great because it has a rich offering of programs both inside and outside the classroom.
What do you like best?
The great location, the wonderful friends, the unexpected weather, the cool instructors, the awesome advisors, the countless opportunities, the endless activities, everything.
What do you miss most?
Food and of course, family.
How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?
I’ve been studying in the U.S. for about two years. Before that I attended a private high school in Jakarta where the classes were taught in English. By immersing myself in an English-speaking environment, I have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the language and culture. It has helped me to interact with local Americans. It’s much easier to start a friendship if you have some common grounds with the other person.
What was your biggest surprise?
Americans are very independent. Most of my American friends that attend college have to work, sometimes more than one job. Some have children, some have college debt, but they’re still determined to go to college.
How have you handled: ... Language differences?
I’ve handled it well. If you don’t understand what someone’s saying, just ask them politely to say it slower and clearer.
I work at school as a sports editor for Bellevue College’s newspaper, The Watchdog. I am also a student ambassador for which I receive a certain amount of money per quarter to help with my tuition costs.
What are your activities?
I am President of the International Student Association, Sports Editor of The Watchdog, and an International student ambassador. The International Student Association sponsors student activities such as a Seattle tour, hockey game trip, a Halloween dance, snow tubing, card making, chocolate making classes, and many other cultural activities.
How easy or difficult is making friends?
It’s definitely easier to make friends with the international student population because they’re going through the same thing as you are. It is harder to make American friends but it is not impossible. I think that because American students have jobs and responsibilities other than their classes, they tend to be more independent.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
hope to become a fashion designer in the future. Studying in the U.S. definitely helped me make connections and raised my speaking confidence level. In this day and age, networking is as important as working hard. After being in the United States for more than two years, I can say that I am now more confident in networking with people from all walks of life.
What is your advice to other students?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be confident.