By Lian Eytinge
When I was a junior at USC, I spent the entire academic year abroad in Tokyo, Japan. I went because I wanted to learn more about what life is like in a different culture, as well as immerse myself in a language other than my own. While abroad, I realized three major ideas that helped me navigate my time in Japan, thus enriching my experiences. Now that I’m back in my home country, I’d like to pass these ideas on to any international student who is studying here at USC and struggling with the language.
1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! I know it can be scary to speak in a different language; you don’t want to mess up or look stupid in front of people. I learned that from speaking with lots of different people in Japanese that it is okay to make mistakes and that native speakers won’t think badly of you for messing up. I know it is hard to believe but if you just push forward and try to communicate your idea, you can learn more and develop your speaking skills better than not speaking up at all. To get in the mindset of speaking freely, I thought to myself: “This is a great chance to get to learn a language through talking to native speakers. I won’t get a chance like this for a long time. I have to seize this opportunity!”
2. Do not be afraid to reach out for help. If the native speaker is talking too fast or you cannot understand the words they are saying, try asking them to repeat themselves slowly or ask them to say it in a different way. Native speakers understand you are learning and will try to accommodate you as best they can! After all, it is harder for you to translate what they say and speak your opinion than it is for them as a fluent speaker to repeat their sentence slower. You might initially think it is rude to ask someone to repeat themselves but, I can assure you, it is not. Asking someone to repeat themselves means that you care about what they have to say and that what they are talking about is important for you to fully understand.
Continue reading A Few Things I learned from Studying Abroad
By Zsuzsa Londe
Here is a suggestion for your Labor Day Weekend: try the new Metro Line to go to the Santa Monica Pier or the beach! The Expo Line has a stop at the South Campus gate of USC, the Expo Park/USC station. Just walk past Tommy Trojan, continue on Trousdale Parkway to Exposition Blvd, and there take the Metro towards Santa Monica. You could be watching a beautiful sunset off the pier or from the beach within 40 minutes.
Once there, don’t miss a stroll on 3rd Street Promenade, a fun and store-filled walking street just a few blocks from the pier.
HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND!
Here are useful resources:
The metro map/stations: http://media.metro.net/riding_metro/bus_overview/images/806_2016-0522.pdf
How to get the tickets: https://www.metro.net/riding/fares/ ($1.75 one way)
Buying graduate student tickets at USC: https://gsg.usc.edu/resources/tap-program
The Santa Monica Pier: http://santamonicapier.org/
Live webcam of the Pier: http://www.pacpark.com/the-park/live-cam/the-park/
Featured image by Christina House for the Los Angeles Times
By Juli Kirkpatrick Leach
“Can we help you?” If my roommate Wendy and I had smart phones or even internet access back on January 7th, 1989, we might never have heard those reassuring words spoken by two young, nice-looking Italian guys on that fateful Saturday night. Wendy and I had just arrived in Florence the day before to start a three month overseas studies program. We were placed with a host family, the Miniati’s, in the “suburbs” and we could only get home by bus from the city center. According to my travel journal, we had gotten on bus 23C, realized it was the wrong one, and then got off, completely turned around and lost. We found a payphone, but then realized that we needed a special token called a getone to use it, and we had no idea where to get one. Had we had our handy dandy mobile devices, we could have done a number of things like look up the bus schedules and routes, gotten exact directions to our host family’s house and hailed a taxi, or just have even called our host family to come get us. Instead, we just stood on the street corner not knowing what to do, laughing because it was better than crying.That’s when we heard those magic words first spoken by Leonardo, a tall slim guy with dark hair, deep-set blue eyes and an authentic Italian nose. He was accompanied by his buddy, Filippo, who was more boyish looking. We told them we were lost and needed a getone to make a call and they got us one. They also offered to give us a ride home. Wendy and I looked at one another wondering if we could trust these guys, and then Leonardo offered to show us his ID. That cinched it for me.
Continue reading A World Without GPS