Being an International Student 留学之路

Haokun from China shares his struggles as an international student, but all the hard work does pay off!

Being an international student is a long journey, but for me, just getting here was a big challenge.  I am from China, where school, studying, and grades are the only parts of a kid’s life.  I was one of few kids who got all “F”s in school.  I could not memorize anything, and studying was too boring for me.  My parents were very stressed every day especially because in China, I was considered such a bad and shameful son.  Even though my classmates studied English since they were young, of course, I failed at that too.  Being lazy and hating school became who I was.  I told my parents I didn’t want to go to college, and I wanted to get a job that didn’t require a college diploma.  However, that plan failed.  All the companies asked for diploma and English skills.  As a result, I sat around my house for three years after high school, and did nothing.

Eventually, I decided to study in America. But it wasn’t so easy.  I went to an agency to help me study in America, but there were too many things I had to complete.  My English level was very low, so I had to study in a language school. After I finish that, I could have qualification to study at Santa Monica College for two years.  They also told me that I had to get very good grades because if I don’t I may not be accepted to a university for transfer.  I was so shocked.  Even after I study for years at SMC, I may not get accepted to a university.  It was too hard. My goal was too far away.  I kept asking myself what I should do. I felt like I have lost my way.

After a lot of thinking, I came to the U.S. and started my brand new life in a foreign country and different culture.  I was so excited in the first few weeks, but things changed very quickly.  As I tried to live my life here, I realized how empty my English skill was.  My world was broken. I couldn’t understand anything.  I felt blind, deaf, and mute.   I couldn’t order coffee from Starbucks, and waiters at restaurants couldn’t understand me.  I even ordered coffee that I didn’t like because I couldn’t order my favorite drink.  I couldn’t ask for directions when I was lost, and I felt hopeless, stressed, and nervous all the time.  Then, I began to see the difference between my dream and fact.  I cried a lot.

Fortunately, I met my roommate who is a good English speaker from China.  I told him about my situation and asked for help.  I was surprised when he told me he used to have the same problems that I had when he first came to the United States.  He also told me that he could help me get through it.  I was so thankful.  I spent a lot of time with him, and he took me everywhere. He took me to shopping malls, and taught me a lot of new vocabulary.  He taught me what signs meant, and asked me to talk to people whenever possible.  He helped me to grow.

After half a year, I finally can talk to my classmates, and I can go shopping on my own.  I finally graduated from my language school and got my offer letter from Santa Monica College.  One day, I was sitting under the sun and was thinking about everything.  I felt I have become a real student of this country.  I have changed, grown up, and become progressive.  I changed myself from a spoiled child to a normal student.  I keep falling down and hitting the ground over and over, but I will not give up and yield.  I always get up when I fall down, and I always encourage myself because I am not the guy who was sitting on the couch for three years.  I am proud that I have become an official international student, and I will keep learning as much as I can.

Haokun

Haokun Li

Home Country: China

Santa Monica College

 

 

 

 

 

Haokun shared his story, now it’s your turn!

留学之路

作为一个国际学生在海外学习是一个漫长的旅程。但对我来说,仅仅到达这里已经是一个巨大的挑战。我来自中国,学校、学习和成绩在中国是孩子生活中唯一的部分。在学校里,我是为数不多的那几个总喜欢挂课的孩子。我难以记住任何东西,而课堂对我来说太过无趣。父母担忧我的学习,在中国,我是令父母蒙羞的坏孩子。尽管我的同学们很早就开始学习英语,对此我却不以为然。懒惰和厌学铸就了我的性格,我告诉父母我不想上大学,我只想找一份不需要大学文凭的工作。然而,这一计划也失败了。所有的求职公司都告诉我大学文凭和英语能力是必须的要求。结果是,高中后我在家中蹲守三年,一事无成。

最终我决定去美国学习。然而这并不简单,我找到一家留学中介帮助我实现梦想,但却发现有太多的先决条件。我的英语很差,所以必须先到语言学校学习。完成之后才可以被录取到圣莫妮卡学院学习。留学机构告诉我,必须在圣莫妮卡学院拿到很好的成绩才能继续上大学,如果成绩不好,有可能无法完成本科学习。我很担心,即便在圣莫妮卡学习多年,我有可能还是无法被大学录取。这太难了,我的目标太远,我不断追问自己,我一度感到迷失。

慎重思考后我还是决定来到美国,决定在陌生的国度和文化中开始全新的生活。初到之时我曾非常地兴奋,但情况很快就发生了变化。当我尝试在这里开始生活的时候,我意识到自己的英语技能是多么的差。我的世界是坏掉的,我什么都听不懂,我看不到,听不见也说不出来。在星巴克我不会点单,餐厅的服务员也无法和我沟通。我点不了自己喜欢的饮品,只能随便喝点什么,迷路的时候也不知道如何去问路。失望压力和紧张不断地将我侵袭,我才明白现实和梦想的差距。为此我经常落泪。

幸运的是,我的中国室友英文很好,跟他分享了我的经历后,我请求他的帮助。令我惊奇的是他告诉我初到美国的时候他曾经有着同样的经历。同时他还告诉我他会和我共度难关。我对他非常感激。室友和我在一起度过了很多时间,我们形影不离。他带我去购物中心,也教会了我很多新的单词,他不但告诉我各种标示的意思,也尽可能地鼓励我和别人交谈。在他的帮助下,我不断成长。

半年之后,我终于可以和同班的同学们开始交流,也可以自己独立上街。我也终于从语言学校毕业,并且拿到了圣莫妮卡学院的录取通知。有一天,我坐在阳光下回想起一切,感到自己在这里成为了一个真正的学生。我改变,成长,更加努力。我从一个被惯坏的孩子变成了一个普通的学生。我不断跌落,摔倒,但是我不会放弃和投降,每一次摔倒我都会从原地重新站起来。我不断告诉自己,我已经不再是那个在沙发上一坐三年的年轻人。我为自己成为一名正式的国际学生感到骄傲,而且我也会不断努力。

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