Student’s life is always fun
Fall semester starts on August 30 this year at Montgomery College. I had my first taste of campus college life here in the US, when I attended the orientation seminar for first timers in this campus, Rockville, Montgomery College. The College has three campuses, Rockville, Germantown and Takoma Park/ Silver Spring. Plastic tote bags in different colors were provided complete with ball pens, writing pads, on top of printed materials needed for the orientation. Too far different from my college days forty years ago.
A week after, August 27 we had our orientation for the international students and this one I like better. First this is my personal group, for I am identified with them. Students from all over the world, like me, enrolled in this college and met for the first time. According to statistics, there are around 671,000 international students enrolled in the country for this year.
Forty years ago this milestone in my life was just too impossible to think about. Two weeks ago, after I have received my approval for my F1 – Visa from USCIS (STUDENT VISA), thank God, I immediately enrolled for I was almost to the end of enrollment period for the fall. It was nobody’s fault actually, but more of as an international student, my documents are far more complicated compared to the citizens in this country.
To qualify as an F1 Visa, you have to enroll to at least 12 units of courses (we call this subjects in the Philippines). In the Philippines, we call the degree as course, here in the US, they call the subject as course. I find this a little confusing at the start.
I enrolled in speech so I can correct my very strong Visayan accent. In the region where I came from, I am confused in the usage of “e” and “i” in the English vowels. If I want to be understood here in the US, I need to align my manner of speaking with them. During the orientation seminar, we were strongly advised not to enroll in French, Korean, or any language , when we can hardly speak and read English at all. Too many language courses at the same time will make the mind turn upside down.
I enrolled in Political Science so I will know the structure of the US government. I may use this knowledge in the future, who knows. After the declaration of martial law in the Philippines, I stopped knowing how our government functions. After all, who ever was in the office has one thing in common. Personal interest first before the country and the people.
I enrolled in Sociology more of a personal reason than anything else. After all this is the study of human social behavior, and I need to refine my social interactions. Not too long ago, somebody branded me as someone who is awkward in everything. I need to polish on my human interaction.
Last but not the least, I enrolled in English for I need to be proficient in this subject. This and the speech should work hand in hand in me, coupled with the knowledge of what is going on in Capitol Hill and the White House (Political Science), and a more refined and finesse interaction with the society at large, (Sociology) will make me a better international student of Montgomery College.
This coming Wednesday, September 1, we will have our first IS acquaintance party. We were informed there is plenty of food, games and fun. I did not expect student life here in the US is this fun.
More fun to follow!