ESL Life Abroad - Crystal Powell
How different is America from China?
Most Chinese think America is a VERY different country on the other side of the world. The reasons are very obvious and many. Some of them include: different food, languages, races, transportation, culture, politics, history, and festivals. However, I have to say that China and America have a lot more in common than you think. People all value their family; people use the same computer programs, like Microsoft; people hate the commercials during their favorite TV shows; people consider the connections between friends as important. America even has something like Chinese “Guan Xi.” In addition, America is the third (some references consider it the fourth) largest country in the world by size, so it is really impossible to say things are the same throughout the whole country. Just like in China, you can’t say people all eat rice and dumplings every day.
What helped me the most in preparing to get here?
There are many things you can do before you move abroad. Learning English well is one of them. Personally, one thing that helped me the most in preparing to come to America is that I got ready to experience different and new things mentally. Embrace different ideas, enjoy different environments and expect to be changed.
Not all different things are bad. Actually, I think being different is good, because that means you can learn more and you will have more experience dealing with things in your life in the future. One thing’s for sure, you will always have more choices in your life than those who will never travel outside their comfortable houses. If you don’t value the things I’ve mentioned, you will have a very hard time living abroad.
Moreover, there are some other things that you can do before you move to help you. Taking some of favorite food, books, and pictures of your family and friends isn’t a bad idea, either.
What has been the hardest part of living abroad so far?
Living abroad means being far away from most of the people you love and care about. My family and relatives are still in China and all my good friends are still living in there. Knowing that you can’t knock on their doors to say hello is really difficult to handle. With the time difference, it is even harder. You always have to calculate what time it is in China now, wondering if you can call or QQ them. You can’t share a lot of things in your life with them anymore and you won’t be able to have time hanging out together unless you go back home.
Sometimes, it feels like you have cut off all your past, but you know your family and friends will always be in your heart and no one can replace them. However, new technology can be the solution to this problem. At least you can video chat with them. There are many programs available now for people to connect through the Internet. Some of them are: Skype, QQ, WeChat, Weico, Renren and Fetion from China Mobile. See, where there is a problem, there always is a solution!
大多数中国人认为美国是在世界另一边的一个非常不同的国家。诸多原因是非常显而易见的。它们中的一些包括:不同的食物、语言、种族、交通、文化、政治、历史、和节日。然而, 我不得不说, 中美间有比你想像中的更多的共同点。人们都看重他们的家庭;人们使用相同的计算机程序, 如微软; 人们痛恨插播在他们最喜爱的电视节目间的广告;人们重视朋友之间的联系。美国甚至还存在像中国的“关系”。此外, 美国是世界上面积第三大国家, 所以你真的不可能说整个国家都是一样的。就像在中国,你不能说每一天人们都吃米饭和饺子一样。
并不是所有的不同的事物都是坏的。实际上, 我认为不一样其实是件好事, 因为这意味着你可以了解更多, 你会有更多的经验来处理你将来生活中的问题。有一件事是肯定的,你总是会比那些足不出户的人们有更多的选择。如果你没意识到我提到的这一点, 你将会在国外很辛苦。
在国外生活意味着远离大多数你爱和关心的人。我的家人和亲戚仍在中国，我所有的好朋友仍住在那里。一想到不能随时联系就会很难过。加上时差, 沟通就更加困难了。你总是不得不计算现在在中国是什么时间, 想知道如果你是否可以打电话或QQ他们。你将无法与他们分享很多你生活中的东西了, 你将不可能有时间在一起, 除非你回家。
有时候，虽然你很清楚你的家人和朋友将永远在你心中有一席之地，但仍然好像你与你的过去一刀两断了。而现代科技可以改变这一问题。至少你可以与他们视频聊天。现在有很多网络沟通的软件。就如：Skype, QQ, 微信，新浪微博，人人网，中国移动的飞信。看，哪里有问题，哪里就有解决方案。