I am an international student studying at Chemeketa Community College. I am from Tokyo, Japan, but I have had a variety of chances to make friends in the United States. My friends help me to enjoy my life here and encourage me to study more and to push myself to work hard.
I have met a lot of friends through the International Program at Chemeketa. There are many students from many different places around the world such as Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America. They all have different perspectives from what I have because of the different places they grew up in, the religions they practice, and the cultures they belong to. Sometimes this makes it hard for me to get along with them when I meet them for the first time. We have different purposes for studying abroad in the United States, and different goals. However, the common thing we all share is that we are here studying English and getting an education in America. This element makes it easier for us to understand each other, and it is the biggest and most effective starting point for us to become friends even though there are many different perspectives and perceptions between us. Once we get to know each other, it is easy for us to get along by hanging out and interacting outside of work and classes. In addition, we study together. We are in America to study and learn English, which is a common language. English makes it possible to communicate with each other. We can study our own classes at the same time we speak English with other international students.
The International Program also hosts events such as the Culture Fair, International Club, and Conversation Tables. Every international student can attend each event or participate as volunteers. We can get to know other international students by cooperating and interacting with them in each event. We can also develop intercultural communication. Sometimes, there are people from different countries with unfamiliar cultures. We have to be understanding and flexible to accept these differences to cooperate with them and make the events a success.
Another chance to make friends is by getting a job on campus. I am working for Student Government at Chemeketa. There are several coworkers working there with me as student employees. We have some projects to work on during each term such as events and meetings. We need to communicate with others and cooperate for success. My coworkers are both good to work with, and close friends as well. We all meet off-campus and hang out. They also help me with my classes and improve my English. They teach me new English vocabulary and conversational terms. I really appreciate them for being good friends. For international students, the job is a great opportunity to make friends in school life.
Friends are key to enjoying American life when studying abroad in the United States. They make it possible for me to enjoy my life and never get bored. They give me great and valuable memories. I will treasure the memories I have with them for the rest of my life. Friends I make in the United States through studying abroad make my life wealthy. I really appreciate their kindness and being around me.
- International Night
- The Culture Fair
- The Conversation Table
- Christmas Party with my international friends
Yoshinobu 'Yoshi' Enomoto of Tokyo, Japan, is majoring in Political Science at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon.