The opportunity was suddenly coming. We were so lucky to get the opportunity offered by our school to study here for one year. It is very significant and meaningful to us. It’s really hard to believe that our dreams have just come true.
Looking back, the road was be full of twists and turns. I can still remember the days when I was involved in preparation for TOFEL and couldn’t reunite with my relatives during Spring Festival. I can still remember the long process of preparing application materials and then waiting for the entrance admission. I can still remember the 20-hour long flight. All in all, it is one of the most challenging yet most rewarding experiences in my life to study here.
The first obstacle I met in America was communication. Hearing natives speaking was like doing listening test in examination. Moreover, it’s even harder to understand since many people here have a variety of accents. It is Okay to talk with our classmates because we share some common topics such as food, clothes, housing and transportation. If necessary, we can turn to body language and dictionaries. However, it’s quite hard to catch every point in class. What’s more challengeable is the technical terms, such as Charles Darwin(查尔斯达尔文)，Hypothetico-Deductive Reasoning(假设演绎法)，and Community(群落). They would not be hard at all if they were in Chinese, even making sense to most non- biology majors. However, without a dictionary they just look like strangers we have never met in the street.
As a result, it seems extremely important to preview and review lessons. Previewing plays an important role because knowing about the lecture ahead of time makes me more focused in class, which I just realized recently. However, i found another problem —the lack of time. The other Chinese students, Eric, Samantha, and Sylvia, also agreed with me. All of us have a feeling that time is really limited because we should learn the knowledge of each lesson as well as new words. For example, some instructor assigns us 50-60 pages to read in a week, which amounts to the whole English textbook we have for one semester in China. It goes without saying that we have to spend plenty of time to complete each day’s homework. So every minute counts here.
There are more than 400 international students here from all over the world， including Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, the UK, Japan, South Korea, India, Nepal and China. Chinese students also come from different provinces, such as Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Taiwan. We always chat with each other in English during dinner time, and I found that Chinese students speak more fluently than students from other countries. To be honest, we, students from Huizhou University speak quite well among Chinese students, which I heard from our foreign friends.
This experience really makes us confident and delighted and we’d like to express our great gratitude to our school, Huizhou University and our homeland, China. At the same time, we also undertake a responsibility, because not only do we represent ourselves, but also our school and our country. When we are communicating with foreigners, China becomes our calling card; when we are communicating with Chinese people, Huizhou University becomes our calling card. We are deeply proud of these two calling cards, yet we worry about them now and then. Do we have good behaviors? Do we have good academic abilities? Can we show the elegant demeanor which we are supposed to have as Huizhou University students.
Anyway, we really appreciate the chance our school offers to go abroad, and we will value this precious opportunity. We will try our best to study hard and make progress every day so that we can set a good example for other international students in the future.
Liu Yuanhong from Dept. Biological Science