An advisor at Butte College in California told me about a special student: Tetsuya Suzuki. Tetsuya, 25, is an international student from Japan. He graduated from a university in Japan with a degree in psychology, but he had his heart set on studying and working in the United States. A friend told him about Study in the USA and he used the website to search for schools, areas, and programs.
Butte College had everything he wanted. This quarter he is studying economics and of course, English! Tetsuya is enjoying the sunny life in California, where he and his very international group of friends play soccer every Friday. Tetsuya also volunteers and hangs out with his host family (he thinks his host family is the coolest). Check out the interview below to learn more about Tetsuya and his life in America.
Jen: What is your major?
Tetsuya: It is Business Administration and Management.
Jen: Why did you decide to come to the United States to study?
Tetsuya: When I went to University in Japan, I decided to come to the United States of America to study, because I wanted to get a job. I wanted to work in the United States of America. It is really difficult to get a job here without academic experiences here, so I came.
Jen: How did you hear about Study in the USA?
Tetsuya: One of my friends let me know. He also wanted to come to the United States of America, and he will probably start studying here for next Spring 2011 Semester.
Jen: How was Study in the USA helpful?
Tetsuya: When I looked for colleges, it was so helpful. It provides a lot of information that most international students need about colleges and universities; for example, TOEFL score, English Program, which universities students transfer into after graduating college.
Jen: How did you decide to go to Butte Community College?
Tetsuya: My decision which college to enter depended on three points; environment, educational level, and cost. What Study in the USA explained about Butte College was really suitable to those three points. In addition to reading its explanation, I contacted by e-mail to Cindy Phelps who is an admission officer of Butte College, and I came to here last year to make sure whether it was good or not.
Jen: What are your educational goals?
Tetsuya: I have not decided yet, but I am thinking to take MBA course at California State University, Chico. I have to decide what to do soon.
Jen: So, what do you enjoy the most about studying in California?
Tetsuya: There are a lot of nationalities in California. Studying with them, we talk each other about our history, traditional things, or culture. It is interesting.
Jen: What do you miss the most about home?
Tetsuya: There is nothing that I miss the home so far, because I really enjoy my life in the United States of America.
Jen: What was the biggest surprise when you came to study in the U.S.?
Tetsuya: First of all, my host family which Tim (Recruitment staff in Butte College) provided for me is much more comfortable for me than what I expected. I can tell this family is the best host family in Chico.
Jen: What was your biggest disappointment?
Tetsuya: I prefer studying at the library or cafeteria to doing in the house. I thought the library in California State University Chico or some STARBUCKS were open 24 hours, but they were closed at 12 A.M.
Jen: How do you handle the language differences?
Tetsuya: I attended ALCI (American Language and Culture Institute = language school) for one month to warm up my English before Butte College began. It was really helpful. Besides, I have tried to be with international or domestic students to not use my mother language.
Jen: How have you handled the financial differences?
Tetsuya: All of them are supported by my parents. Now I am trying to get a scholarship.
Jen: What about the different educational system?
Tetsuya: When I thought which classes to take, I always had to consider with the university that I would want to transfer into, because each university has different requirements. It was so difficult to decide which class to take, but I could get through this with student leaders’ helps.
Jen: What kind of activities do you do there?
Tetsuya: First, I play soccer with Korean, Spanish, Mexican, South African, Chinese, American, and Arabic. We practice on every single Friday, and we play as a match every Sunday. Second, I belong to Street Team organized by Associated Students. We help Associated Students as a volunteer; for example, we staple fliers Associated Students drew on some bulletin board in campus.
Jen: What’s your advice to other international students?
Tetsuya: -Read a lot of books not only required books but also unrequired books. -Write the journal everyday what you did, how you felt that day. -Talk with friends on campus, not at a party. English used at the party is just for the party. It does not help you to use academic language. -Think always why you came to the United States. And your English must be improved much faster!
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