At peerTransfer we are continually interacting with the students that use our service to make payments. We want to know everything about their experience when making a payment and beyond. Paying tuition, though not fun for anybody, should be easy. The real challenge is adjusting to a new culture and life as an independent student studying miles from home. Soon thousands of new students will leave their home country to study abroad so we wanted to share some tips that will help with the adjustment. We are lucky enough to have one of our customers from China intern in our office in Boston. Keep reading to learn more about his experiences and how they might help provide some tips for you as you embark on a new journey.
Meet Jaspar Wu from China. He is currently a graduate student at Suffolk University in Boston, MA.
Why did you choose to study abroad?
Upon completing my undergraduate studies in China, I decided to study abroad for graduate school. In 2011, I had a chance to study in the U.S. as an exchange student. Studying abroad can be challenging but it provides many opportunities for students. It is not easy to live and study in a foreign country by yourself, especially when you speak a different language! I was met with difficulties in the beginning but I adjusted and actually enjoyed my time overcoming those problems. Studying abroad is not only about learning from classes and books, it is also a chance to grow in your personal life. Each day I grew a little more and gradually became more outgoing and willing to talk to people. I have learned that it is always good to try new things and experience different cultures. For me, studying abroad is preparing me for a future career with a global perspective.
Why did you choose Suffolk?
Suffolk University is located in downtown Boston which is a great location. The school’s accounting program has a very good reputation and the business school is accredited by AACSB. The professors are great and the class size is small. Suffolk has many international students from all over the world. I have met and become friends with people from different counties around the world.
Did you experience culture shock coming to the U.S.? If so, how did you deal with it?
I can always get used to different living environments and cultures quickly, so I didn’t have too much culture shock. However, I am still learning how to communicate with people from different cultures. One thing I complained about a lot in the beginning was the food (I believe that’s what most Chinese students will complain about). You are surrounded by American food; pizza, hamburgers, salad and so on. Since being in America, I can’t eat Chinese food everyday so I have had to get used to American food. After a year I have adjusted and will now eat American food and actually enjoy it!
What are some tips you would tell international students thinking about studying in the U.S.?
- Make friends! It is not as hard to live alone in a different country if you have friends to spend time with and who can help you when you are in homesick.
- Be independent. In some Asian countries, students depend on their parents and teachers. They will wait for their parents and teachers to tell them when and how to do things. However, in America, no one will tell you what you should do. You have to depend on yourself otherwise you won’t survive.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Chinese students are a little shy when they communicate with others. In America, you are welcome to ask questions and people will be happy to answer. If you ask questions, you will find it is much easier to solve problems and it can save you lots of time!
Do you have any tips to share? We’d love to hear them.