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Internationl student life at minnesota stat university - Essay Example

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Full name Professor Subject Date International Student Life at Minnesota State University International students are often presented with different problems concerning their communication skills, familial and cultural backgrounds as well as the classroom environment…
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Internationl student life at minnesota stat university
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Download file to see previous pages The most common is the use of the English language. Although some may understand the language well, the problem is presented when one is required to express his/her own ideas. This is strongly defended by the first interviewee, Bdr, a friend from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Bdr says that coping in a new environment is made more difficult because of the language barrier that exists between him and his professors and classmates. “Some Americans speak too fast, I cannot understand all that is being said and oftentimes, they use words that are not familiar with me”, Bdr said. He adds that this is a real problem to him because in school, class discussions are required. Since grades are highly important to him, he wants to be involved in class discussions but the fear of making no sense at all prevents him from talking. He also fears that his classmates might make fun of how he talks, how limited his vocabulary is and how he constructs his sentences. Although he has been a confident student in his own country, his confidence failed him in a new world where he needs to speak a language not his own. Nevertheless, he still has to survive so despite the difficulties, he is trying to learn the language by talking to native speakers on a daily basis. Essa, a second year Aviation Management student who is also from KSA is not a stranger to such dilemma. Even on his second year with the school, he is still finding it difficult to fully adapt to the American education. He says that, “There are so many activities that really require participation like critical class discussions. Speaking is already a problem and trying to react critically in class makes the task even harder because one has to meditate on the meanings of what is being discussed. Moreover, a lot of reading is also needed because instructors encourage students to get diverse ideas from different authors and other sources. Then there are the written requirements like take home exams, reaction papers and essays. However, Essa does not consider this too much of a burden but looks to the brighter side saying the requirements are all necessary because they help students improve their vocabulary and use of the English language. Personally, the challenges I am facing as an international student are not at all different from the experiences of Bdr and Essa. I have difficulty expressing myself in English, too. I am not fluent in English which is the medium of instruction. My sentence constructions are faulty and my vocabulary is limited. In United Arab Emirates, most of the talking is done by the teachers so that participating in class discussions is really a challenge for me and if there were any interaction among students, we used our native tongue. Although we learned English in our country, it is undeniable that the experience is entirely different from what we have in America. Therefore, I strive hard to improve my oral communication skills by imitating native speakers and practicing at home. In addition, written communication presents similar problems. The many books required of us to read are already a great task and it even demands more time from me because oftentimes, I have to read slowly in order to understand the texts. Sometimes, I also have to read three or more times before I grasp the subject matter. Written requirements add to the difficulties. Although the activity spares me from expressing my thoughts extemporaneously, writing sentences with the use of a second language is still ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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