Zheng Runbo from China: Studying intensive English at Texas Intensive English Program in Austin, Texas

Zheng Runbo from China: Studying intensive English at Texas Intensive English Program in Austin, Texas

Interview:

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

Because the United States is where there are many world-top universities and is famous for its education quality. In America, students can apply for their favorite university according to their own will.

Why did you choose Texas Intensive English Program?

I asked some friends for advice and they said that this intensive English program had some advantages over other programs. The comprehensive courses and strong academic atmosphere attract me most. The University of Texas, which is widely recognized as one of the best public universities is located in Austin. So it is a special place for me.

How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?

I have been studying here for nine months and my English has improved a lot. Before I came here, I didn’t dare to communicate with foreigners. But now I am proficient at spoken English, and I like talking with foreigners.

What do you like best?

Austin is known as “Live Music Capital of the World.” Rock and roll, jazz and blues are played in shops and pubs. I also like the pleasant climate in Austin. During the day, people can enjoy life outdoors; in the evenings, they can enjoy music in the bars.

What do you miss most?

I miss the food in my hometown most, especially the chicken noodles cooked by my mother. I also miss being with my father. Before going abroad, when I got into trouble, I could turn to him for help. But now, I have to handle the problems by myself.

What was your biggest disappointment?

I am disappointed that there are only a few Chinese restaurants in Austin.

How have you handled:

... language differences?

I often watch movies and TV to improve my spoken English. If I cannot understand the usage of a word well, I will consult my classmates who are glad to help me. I also have learned some useful gestures. For example, if I hold up my thumb to a local people, I mean that I agree with him.

... finances?

As for the finances, I manage to spend them wisely. Because I make a budget every month, I have never borrowed money from others and my savings are still increasing.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

The educational system in America is greatly different from that in China. For example, American universities advocate that students should learn by themselves. Students can put forward any doubt in the learning process. In class, I often participate in the discussions actively; after class, I always write the papers carefully.

What are your activities?

My favorite sports are jogging and bowling. I also like playing basketball and football with friends. In my view, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. And I also joined a student association.

How easy or difficult was making friends?

In the USA, making friends is very easy. Americans are very friendly. When I arrived in Austin, I was deeply impressed with Americans’ hospitality.

How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country? 

My career goal is business, and I am very interested in Human Resource Management (HRM). My experience and education in U.S. is relevant to my personal goals to a great extent because U.S. education emphasizes the importance of practice. I think in America I will be given many opportunities to be an intern in big corporations. Since in China the HRM specialty is still in the embryonic stage, the U.S. education will definitely give me a chance to make contributions to enterprises’ management.

What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?

For the students who are considering studying English in the USA, firstly, they should have a good command of basic English skills before applying. Secondly, they should seize every opportunity to practice their spoken English. Thirdly, during the first three months after their arrival in America, they will be faced with “Culture Shock.” Then they will be very homesick. They can communicate with friends or go hiking to reduce anxiety. Last but not the least, when studying abroad, they should work hard to build a solid foundation for their future careers.

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