ESL Life Abroad - Rachel
My Chinese name is Zhao Yinghui 赵英惠. I was born June 21, 1991. I am 21years old. My major is English education. I graduated last summer July 2011.
Around two years ago, I heard that I can be an au pair in America. I was so excited to prepare everything to go abroad. First and the most important thing is to improve your English, and the only way is to take your time to listen, remember and repeat.
When I got here I did not feel so strange for I went to Sydney twice before coming to America to practice my English. My host family always is very nice to me so that makes me more relaxed. It doesn't matter if you are going to be an au pair or you want to study out of China, you should be independent, at least cook for yourself, do light housework and your own laundry.
You just have to be nice, friendly and honest to everyone you meet, People will help and love you. Americans are really friendly. Do not worry nobody wants to be with you or they will look down on you.
1. What was most helpful in preparing to go abroad?
I think the most helpful was improving my English, becoming independent and confident. You do not have to speak well like a real American, but you have to adjust to the speed and accent. You also need to have confidence and believe in yourself, then you can do it.
2. About IELTS or TOEFL
Actually I did not take those tests, but I heard from friends that they studied for six hours per day for vocabulary, reading, writing, listening and speaking. They said the only way to pass the tests are work hard, that practice makes perfect.
3. The Hardest Part
The hardest part of living abroad is when you get there you will feel alone and lonely. You really want to go back home, you feel homeless. You have to calm down to think about what is your dream, why you wanted to go abroad, and how hard you worked to be able to go. You are so lucky to be there, a lot of people really want to go abroad, but they cannot, so you have to insist on your dream, and remind yourself that everything will be fine, that you just need time to adjust, and to trust yourself.
Second, you might not like the food, but you can go to the market and buy some spices and vegetables and cook for yourself. Maybe your host family would like to try what you cook? Or you can go to a Chinese restaurant. The best way is to learn to have western food. It will be easier on the family and the food is not hard for me to eat.
Third, when you first arrive, you will have the feeling that they speak too fast. Do not be upset, you just need time, trust yourself, try your best to listen for three months. Soon it becomes a piece of cake, but in the beginning, you can listen to some videos or watch some movies, and that will help a lot to give you more practice.
我认为最有用的是提高我的英语, 变得独立和自信。你不必像一个美国人讲的那么好,但是你必须适应英语的语速和口音。您还需要有信心,相信自己, 那么你就一定行。
实际上我并没有参加这些测试, 但我听朋友说, 他们每天学六个小时的词汇、阅读、写作、听力和口语。他们说, 只有通过努力才能通过测试,熟能生巧嘛。
在国外生活最难的部分是当你出国了,你会感到孤单和寂寞。你真的想回家, 你觉得无家可归。你必须冷静下来思考你的梦想是什么,为什么你想出国,和你是多辛苦才出来的。你很幸运, 很多人真的想出国, 但他们不能, 所以你必须坚持你的梦想, 并提醒自己, 一切都会好的, 你只是需要时间来调整, 并相信自己。
再次,当你刚到的时候, 你会有这样的感觉, 他们说英语说得太快。不要担心,你只是需要时间, 相信自己, 尽力去听三个月。很快,英语听力就会变得小菜一碟,但在一开始,你可以听一些视频或看一些电影, 这将帮助你有更多的练习。
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