Photo: Texas Christian University
Alan Li, from China, completed the Intensive English Program at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and is now a freshman, majoring in Business at the university.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
First of all, China has a pretty high population that causes a competitive situation. Even if I graduate from Chinese university, it is still pretty hard to find a job. Secondly, the education level of America is the best in the world. Lastly, studying here can provide me more opportunities; I can enrich my life experience and I can make friends with people from all over the world. Why did you choose Texas Christian University and the Intensive English Program? I came to this school because it is very famous in China. Also, before I decided to come here I had an interview with a professor here who helped me know more about this school. TCU [Texas Christian University] is very famous in Fort Worth area. The high reputation of this school can help me to find a job after I graduate. The most important is the Intensive English Program (IEP) here. It helped me a lot to improve my English. IEP is located on campus, which helped me get to know real university life and learn English at the same time.
What do you like best?
The student services here are pretty good. Teachers are always here to help you. Also, you can find almost anything you need around campus. Last, there are a bunch of organizations to help international students, such as ISA [International Student Association] group and writing center.
What do you miss most?
I miss my family and the food the most.
How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?
I have stayed here almost a year and a half. I usually hang out with my American friends and watch TV shows to improve my speaking and listening. Because the IEP helped me get to know university life and learn English, after I graduated from IEP, I already knew lots of useful skills of the college. This makes my freshman year very easy.
What was your biggest surprise?
Learning freely and living independently.
... your biggest disappointment?
Weather and food.
How have you handled: ... language differences?
I try my best to learn and talk more with native English speakers. I also try to speak in English more and speak less in my mother language.
I can work on campus, so I can earn a little bit money and at the same time, it can improve my English.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
I think it is easy to adjust because the education now is freer, so it’s easy to adjust.
What are your activities?
IEP always has some outdoor activities such as the zoo, stockyard and parks. TCU has lots of events on campus too, such as music concerts and football games.
How easy or difficult was making friends?
It is easy to have American friends, but it is hard to become best friends because the cultures are different.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I want to be a financier. It [my education] has a big relevance because I need to learn the most popular economic knowledge; China needs lots of experts in finance. Also, U.S. is the finance center of the world, so it is a great choice to study here.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
Come to America early and try to get in touch with the outside world instead of reading books all day. Make more friends and attend all kinds of activities.