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Student Interview - Taiwan
by I-Fang Lee from Taiwan

I-Fang Lee Studied in the Intensive English
Program (IEP) at Fort Worth and is now a
Dance major at TCU.

Why did you decide to study in the U.S.A.?

In my last semester of junior college in Taiwan, I decided that I
wanted to continue my education, and I wanted to study abroad
because I wanted an entirely new environment.  Also, I wanted
to gain new knowledge.

How did you choose your university?
I was a dance major in Taiwan, and I wanted to understand
more about Western dance, particularly the origins,
development, and different representations of Ballet and
Modern Dance.  It is important that students know what their
interests are, and what their interests are, and what program is
appropriate to their study.  If students find the program they
want, and if they do really like it, then they will have a good time
studying in college.

What do you like best?
Personally! I like Americans' personality best.  when people do
something well or when their opinion is reasonable, Americans
greatly respect them.  Americans usually give people their best

What do you miss most?
As for my country and culture, I think I didn't miss anything
because I am here to accept more new ideas.  As for myself, I
miss my family the most.

How did you handle: ...Language differences?
The first time I came here, I only understood very little English. 
So I took a beginning English course.  I also listened to the
radio all the time, and sometimes I watched TV.  I like reading
magazines, so I improved vocabulary by reading English
language articles with pictures.  Gradually, I felt more
comfortable using English.

I spend money only when it is necessary.  I brought with me
the things which I have to have because the living expenses in
the U.S.A. are kind of high.

...Adjusting to a different educational system?
In the U.S.A., professors like their students to exchange
opinions all the time.  I have had to become different and to try
to speak in class.  I also see more of a focus on the major or
professional area of the students.

How has your English Improved?
I studied English full time in the Intensive English Program
(IEP); I was also allowed to take some degree-credit classes
part time.  I enjoyed the Conversation Partner program. 
(Conversation Partners for IEP students are all native English
speakers who help us practice speaking.)  In the program, we
did homework together, went shopping, and talked about
everything, and now, we are very good friends.

My English has improved greatly.  Now that I have graduated
from the IEP and I have chosen to take TCU's extra English
(ESL) classes for degree credit.  Besides English classes, I
listen to the radio very often.  In addition, I watch TV with
closed caption so I can catch the meaning by listening and
reading.  Every time I am able to us English I do, whether inthe
grocery store or from books, magazines, and newspapers, or
by sharing my opinions with others here.

What are your activities?
When I lived in the dorm, we always had activities.  Sometimes
we would have cooking parties; students from different
countries would cook their dishes or desserts, and sometimes
we watched videos together.  These were good opportunities to
meet people, make friends, and also to practice English.

How easy or difficult is making friends?
Making friends is not difficult when I have been bold enough to
speak up in English.  Most people here in America are very
friendly; they like to make friends from other places.  The more
I speak, the easier it is to make more friends.

How relevant it your program to your personal goals
and to the needs of your country?

My program is a bachelor's degree in Ballet and Modern
Dance.  Dance is very popular in the U.S.A.  People here like
to go to performances for entertainment and for relaxation.  In
contrast, Taiwanese society back home is only beginning to
appreciate dance as part of culture.  I hope I can help people
in my country learn all that dance has to offer.

What is your advice to other students?
When we move to a new environment, we all have many things
we don't know or many questions to ask.  My advice to other
students is, "Just ask."  Americans usually like to tell you all
they know.


                                                                           Source: Study in the USA

2000 World Wide Web Education Fair

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