A twelve-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean, from Asia to North America … America—a new beginning, a new page for my life. USA for me is like a Hollywood movie and a huge melting pot which is a mix of a lot of different cultures. Even though I have been in America for one year, American culture is still hooking me. It makes me have the passion to learn and explore more about its culture.
Talking with people is one of my favorite ways of getting to know the local culture, but before I came to the Centralia College, my English was terrible. I did not even know how to give responses to “How are you?” I always answered, “I am fine, thank you. And you?” with an embarrassed look. Now, my English is becoming better than before and I have more confidence in communicating with people in English. Every time I think about it, I feel I am lucky that I chose Centralia College for my first step of my life studying abroad. During my first year at Centralia College, every teacher has been very nice to me and has not only helped me to learn in my classes but also about American culture.
Initially, I never imagined college professors would remember me, and that I could talk with the professor of my major often. But it really happens to me. For instance, once I told my professor that I like to watch stage plays and wanted to know how to film the stage play. Unexpectedly, after a few weeks, my professor asked me for help for a play of Shakespeare at the school theater. I was shocked that my professor was giving me the chance to experience what I am excited about. Furthermore, in college, if I am very interested in something I will have a chance to do it. For example, my major is media and so far I have already helped the city and school to film sports games, city events, a graduation ceremony, and so on. Meanwhile, when I need help for film, my professor will tell me some tips or methods that are not shown in the book. Once, when we did the filming for the stage play, my professor told us how to film better for stage players and when we should use a full shot or a close-up. I very much enjoy this education style because our professors are not only teaching students during the class time, but also teaching the students during their free time. To be honest, I think doing is more important than listening, and the teaching style at the college is very helpful to broaden my horizons and know more about western culture and America.
Jiale Long is majoring in media at Centralia College in Centralia, Washington.