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As an international student from Japan, I think one of the biggest challenges for me has been to learn to write and to speak "American" English.

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As an international student from Japan, I think one of the biggest challenges for me has been to learn to write and to speak "American" English. Students from Asia have a tougher time learning English compared to international students from Europe, South America, and Africa. When it comes to learning how to write essays in English, I have noticed that it is more difficult for me,and my Asian friends from Asian to express ideas effectively. For example, at my school all graduate students must take the GET (Graduate Essay Test). I failed the test when I first arrived and had to take a supplementary course. I think Asian foreign students have trouble passing the GET test due to structural issues (how to develop ideas) and problems with expression (how to use words) with English that are very different from how students in Asian countries are taught. For example, the typical Japanese writing style is to present the conclusion at the end of the essay. ...read more.


at the end of the master's degree program. If you have poor English writing skills, assignments take a lot more time and it's difficult to get good grades that you need to graduate. I highly recommend that people who want to study at graduate schools in the U.S to receive training for English writing beforehand. Importance of Self-Expression Another challenge I have faced as an international student in the U.S. is expressing myself using words and expressions in English. In the U.S, students are expected to give oral presentations and to speak up during class discussions. I have noticed that international students from Asia generally have trouble speaking in public because in Asian countries, students need only listen to lectures and rarely have the opportunity to speak up in class. Although I have been here for nine months, I still lack confidence about joining class discussions. Before giving an oral presentation to my classmates and professor, I spend a lot of time preparing a draft that I then read aloud. ...read more.


Self-expression -- both written and spoken -- is an important skill to have before attending graduate school in the U.S. Although you may not speak English well right now, you should practice as much as possible, and preferably with a native speaker who uses the proper pronunciation, grammar, and syntax, and who can teach you American idiomatic expressions. If so, you will develop the ability to speak in a short time once you arrive here, and have more time to enjoy American life and get good grades. Next semester I will work as an intern at a local television station and will learn about video and computer production and editing. Afterwards, I plan to return to Japan and to get a job in the television industry where I want to direct, edit, and produce TV programs. Maybe you, too, can fulfill your dreams by studying in the U.S. But, remember my advice: the two most important things are to improve your writing ability and spoken language skills before you come here to study ...read more.

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