By Esther Cha
Even though I wasn’t born in the US, American culture and the English language came easily to me because I grew up here and went to school with other American students. The same was not true for my parents though; they really struggled trying to adjust to the foreign culture and learn the language. I had to help them build the bridge between Korean and American culture but I did not realize until recently how big of a gift and asset this ability was. Being able to help others adjust to American culture through my position as an ALI One-on-One Conversation Partner has helped me appreciate my parents so much more and has built within me a renewed respect for international students.
Many look down upon students who come to America and struggle with English. In my opinion, their struggle is beautiful and admirable. They are struggling because, though they know another valuable language and culture, they chose to come here and learn something entirely new. Not only do they have to learn a new language, they have to learn their respective field studies in a different language. I am so honored to work with these diligent and curious students.
Through my experience, I have felt the passion and dedication international students have. I believe that these students bring a new dynamic to USC and allows our university to be more diverse and accepting. If my one-on-one sessions can help these amazing students even in the slightest, then I am happy. I hope that USC as a whole will recognize the efforts of international students and make discovering new and various ways to help these students pursue their studies in the English language a continuous priority.
Featured image from Wikimedia Commons
Esther is a freshman in the Marshall School of Business majoring in Business Administration. She is originally from Dallas, Texas and is very grateful to be studying in sunny California. She was born in Seoul, South Korea but moved to the US when she was three years old. Esther loves traveling and recently went to Thailand and Vietnam as an English teacher for the summer. She has also worked at Gideon Reading and Math as a tutor for young students. She has a true passion for education development and hopes to work in education administration in the future. On campus she is involved in choir and sings in the Thornton School of Music’s Concert Choir.