Lulu Chen, from China, is a sophomore studying English language and Business Administration at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
Studying in the USA, I believe, is a good way to improve my English. The education in USA is very advanced, and that is the most important reason for me to choose study in USA. I have also made lots of new friends in USA, not only Americans, but also people from all over the world.
How did you choose Clark College?
Clark College has small class sizes and I am able to get a lot of personal attention, which helps me a lot for my English study. The patient and helpful instructor make me have a good time studying at Clark College. And Clark College has excellent tutor center.
What do you like best?
The education environment is really good. From the first two years of study at Clark College, I found I have lots of time to decide what I am interested in and the major I would like to choose. Experiencing the education system in USA, I found I really learn through some activities, which is not only lecture time, but also in the group-study/lab/social practice time.
What do you miss most?
I miss my family and friends a lot. Studying in USA makes me have less time to spend with them. I also miss the food in China. I am still learning how to cook the very traditional Chinese food.
How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?
I have been studying at Clark College for two years. I think my English has been improved a lot after I took English classes at Clark College. The English classes, such as writing, reading, communication and so on, all helped me a lot for my future study in USA university. The steady English language skills will help me to get rid of lots of English obstacles.
What was your biggest surprise?
The biggest surprise about U.S life is that people like outdoor activities a lot, such as hiking and camping. I have had lots of fun with that. The biggest surprise about U.S education is most classes have group-study. This is a good way for studying and even to make some new friends.
... your biggest disappointment?
The biggest disappointment about U.S. life is there’re so many yummy foods. It is really hard for me—I should be on a diet. The biggest disappointment about U.S. education is still language problem. Sometimes in class I will miss something when instructor speeds up.
Beside that, it is really hard to find disappointment in U.S life. There is a peaceful environment, friendly people, and you can always learn something new everyday.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
Just don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid to make mistake. As for my experience, the more practice, the more confident I feel. Talking with friendly people, and they would also like to talk to you, is the chance to practice my English.
I work part-time on campus. It helps my financial problem and it improves my working experience, as well.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
The education system wasn’t very different for me. Just don’t hesitate, ask your instructor, tell them your trouble or problem, and they will help you.
What are your activities?
International club, photography club, piano club, women’s choral ensemble, lots of volunteer activities on campus and community, hiking trip, and so on.
How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?
In USA, it is easy to make friends, mostly. Being polite and friendly, you will enjoy more and more friends around you.
How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My career goal is working in hospitality and I will focus on hotel field. After taking the classes about hospitality in USA, I will figure out more differences between the hotel industries in USA and China .
What is your advice to other students from your country who are considering studying English in the USA?
Be yourself and never give up what you dream. There might be some difficulties at the beginning studying in the USA, but if you don’t give up, you will enjoy it pretty soon.