International student adjusts to a whole new culture

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By Irais Anguiano

By Irais Anguiano

Riverside City College has a wide population of international students. A large portion of students come from China, South Korea & Japan.  

International students pay $233 per unit and are required to take a minimum of 12 units. Last year the costs for international students equaled to an amount of $1.9 million dollars.

Yingyi Lin, who goes by Sunny here, is an international student from Jiangmen, China. She first came to America in August 2010 to study bio chemistry, which she says she finds to be quite difficult.

Lin plans on transferring to UC San Diego, UC Los Angeles, or UC Berkley in 2012 and is going to start to apply this coming November.

 She says that her life adjustments were quite drastic, but she managed to receive help from her new friends that she made here. Lin explains how they have helped her with homework and if she missed anything during the lecture.  

“I’ve made a lot of American friends, they are all really nice,” Lin said. “I usually just sit and listen because I’m really shy, but they always include me in their conversations.”

It is sometimes difficult to understand a few of the contents in English because Lin’s first language is Chinese. She shares that English was probably one of the hardest things she has had to learn.

“There is just so much and with all the grammar, it’s really confusing,” she said.

Lin says that she felt a bit self conscious to say certain things in English at first; because she was concerned that she might pronounce the words wrong or that people wouldn’t understand what she meant.

“I would always have to memorize each letter in order to get the punctuations and grammar right,” Lin said.

 Another challenge Lin was faced with was understanding the way an American school functions. She says that in her hometown students stay in one class room and the teachers for each subject come to them, but here students have to go to each class they’re taking.

She feels education is very different in America because students are free to do whatever they want, if they don’t want a math class then they don’t have to take it where as in China, students are required to take a math class every single year.

Lin didn’t think she would actually come to America; it was luck and chance that helped her along the way. In fact, she says she didn’t really think much of it.

Her mother  first came overseas from China for a job. Lin says that Riverside and Jiangmen are similar in business, government, education and culture because they are considered to be “sister cities.”

When her mother met the mayor of Riverside, he recommended that her children study here. Lin only agreed to come to America if she passed the language test.

“I was so glad when I did,” she said.

 Lin is still in contact with her friends in China. They keep in touch through Facebook, Chinese Twitter, and other social networks.

The time difference doesn’t stop her.

 “I will stay up until 2:00 in the morning and my friends are like, ‘oh you’re still awake?'” She said with a giggle.

Lin is more independent in America because she is away from her home and family. Though it is hard to adjust to the change, Lin shares that she is happy to start a new beginning.

 “America is a new start of my life but I will never forget the first piece, I will always treasure it,” Lin said.

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