Rondineli from Brazil is an English language student in the American Collegiate English (ACE) program at Grossmont College.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I always had some curiosity about living in the USA. I wanted to know if things here are the way I saw them in movies.
How did you choose your intensive English program?
Actually I was looking forward to going to Grossmont College, but I need more English skill before applying for college. So, I chose ACE, the ESL school at Grossmont.
What do you like best about studying here?
My professors are so good, and I really like the way they teach me. They also care about helping students to pursue good English skills. They are really great.
What do you miss most about home?
I miss my family and my friends.
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've been studying in the USA for 3 years, and my English has improved a lot and still is. Studying at ACE was my best choice ever. I should have chosen to study here since the first time. ACE professors helped me acquire a good English level, good enough to go to college and maybe in the future study at a U.S. university.
What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?
It was really different from my country. So much better. I mean, some things here are easier to do, like get money for example. I have friends that have a job, and here in the U.S. people are paid by hour different from Brazil that people are paid by month. Here in the U.S. most things are cheap, like clothes, food, shoes, cars and many other things, and in Brazil everything is expensive. Everything!
... your biggest disappointment?
How have you handled:
... language differences?
This is one thing that was hard for me. Making a friendship with Americans is not easy. I tried talking to some people, but even so, sometimes I could not understand them or neither of them understood me. I knew someone, and we started dating and after that everything with my English started getting better, and also because my boyfriend introduced me to his family and his friends. So now I have a lot of American friends, and of course, I need to speak English with them because no one speaks Portuguese.
This is the hardest part, but I had some help.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
For me, it was a little complicated to understand the system in the beginning.
What are your activities?
Grossmont College has good activities like beach parties, tours to the desert and to Hollywood, movie nights, and others. My favorite was a trip to the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park. I had a good time with my new Japanese friends. We spent a good time together, taking pictures and talking about the animals.
How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?
It depends person to person I guess. Like I said before, for me it was hard because I didn’t know anybody and the only people I talked to were other students from school that are not American citizens.
What are your career goals? How is your U.S. education relevant to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I don't have a career, not yet, but I’m thinking about Design or Physical Education.
What is your advice to other students from your country who are considering studying English in the USA?
My advice for someone who wants to study in the USA, be open minded, patient and know that nothing is the way we think it is. This is not a TV show or any movie that people are used to watching. And be prepared to do a lot of homework. But overall, everything is wonderful and great. I know if YOU want to come to the USA, you are going to love it.
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