Ming Chu Pai is a junior majoring in International Business at Pierce College in Lakewood, near Tacoma, Washington.
Why did you decide to study in the U.S.A.?
I wanted to study in the U.S.A. to improve my English skills and get a degree in business. I chose Pierce College because of the nice people there, which is very important. Also, the tuition is low and Pierce has a homestay program which was also very important to me.
How did you choose your school?
I chose to study business because I studied it for a bit in Taiwan. Also, my brother owns a company in Taiwan which manufactures and exports Barbecue equipment, so I have some practical business knowledge, which is why I can participate in my business classes and talk a lot about true situations in business.
What do you miss most?
I miss the food because I don't like American food. We have many different ways of cooking Chinese food, whereas in the U.S.A., people seem to cook a lot of food in the microwave.
What was your biggest surprise?
The biggest surprise about the U.S. is that my host family takes care of me so much. Especially my host mom - she is kind, friendly, patient and warm-hearted. She is a good model of an American woman. I really love my host family. As far as education, we have the same kinds of classes in Taiwan, but the ways of teaching are very different. Here, students have more chances to offer their opinions in class.
...your biggest disappointment?
The food in the U.S. is a disappointment. A lot of the food is instant or fast food, and other food is sometimes overcooked. Sometimes people will cook vegetables for two hours. These are not vegetables any more!
How have you handled:
When I had trouble with language differences, I would draw pictures, spell out words, and use body language. I just kept trying even if I was wrong.
I haven't had any problems with finances, but I did get a part-time job at the Tutoring Center on campus. This is also a fun way to meet people.
...Adjusting to a different educational system?
I ask my classmates to help me a lot. I also study and prepare carefully before each class.
What were your activities?
My host family has an RV, so I went camping a lot with them. We had a great time relaxing, seeing the ocean and playing games. I also tried camping in a tent with my roommate, Stella. I enjoyed going to the movies, taking walks in the parks, and going shopping. Now, I'm in the International Club. We have potluck parties and do other fun activities.
How easy or difficult is making friends?
It's easier than in other countries. In the U.S.A., people are friendly and easy to talk to. American people like to talk.
What is your advice to other students?
Study hard, but don't push yourself too much. Relax and enjoy your experience in the U.S.A. Of course, you'll feel some pressure and stress, so you need to talk to a student advisor and/or your homestay family.
Source : Study In The USA