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TLC’s Japanese Business Developer, Risa

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Hello! My name is Risa Okayama. I was a student at TLC in 2015 for 3 months. After 2 months studying the Intensive English Program at TLC, my TOEFL score went up to 533 from 497. Therefore, I was able to enroll in the University of Central Oklahoma, which is one of TLC’s partner schools. I studied marketing at UCO and as I studied more, I wanted to have hands-on learning experience in marketing. So, in my senior year, I did an internship at TLC during my summer vacation. I learned, experienced, and implemented various marketing strategies and plans with the TLC President and Chairman. During the internship, I realized how much I like helping other international students to come to the United States to learn English. Therefore, I decided to do my Optional Practical Training (OPT), which is the program that enables international students to work in their majored field for 1 year after graduation. During my OPT, I went to Japan as a representative of TLC. I met Japanese agents and students who were truly passionate about study abroad like me. Because of that experience, I strongly felt that I would like to pursue this career path. Thus, as my OPT is finishing up, I will continue working for TLC but, as a business developer in Japan. It is exciting to bring TLC to Japan because TLC is going to be the first place where students can start study abroad life in the United States. I cannot wait to see and help future TLC students in Japan!

 

こんにちは!岡山理沙と申します。TLCで2015年の3か月間英語を勉強していました。TLCの集中英語プログラムを学んでから2ヶ月が過ぎる頃、TOEFLの点数が497点から533点へとアップし、TLCのパートナー校であるセントラルオクラホマ大学に出願することが出来ました。UCOではマーケティングを専攻し、よりマーケティングを勉強するごとに、実践的な経験を積みたいという思いが募っていきました。そこで、大学4年生の夏休みを利用してTLCでインターンシップをさせていただきました。インターンシップを通して、様々なマーケティング戦略やプランを学び、経験し、実践することが出来ました。インターンシップの間に、アメリカに留学したい留学生のお手伝いをすることがやりがいになっていることに気づき、卒業後に1年間専攻の分野で職業経験が積めるプログラム、「オプショナルプラクティカルトレーニング」というプログラムを利用し、TLCでOPTをすることを決めました。OPTの間に、TLCの代表として日本に出張に行くことが決まり、私の様に留学に対して情熱がある日本人のエージェントさんや生徒さんにお会いする機会がありました。この経験のおかげで、このキャリアをに進みたいと強く思うきっかけになりました。そこで、OPTの期間が終わると同時に、日本ではビジネスデベロッパーとして働くことが決めました。TLCは多くの日本人留学生にとって留学を始める第一歩の場所になると思います。私の留学経験を使い、将来の生徒さんのお手伝いできることを心から楽しみにしています!

Study Abroad Experience

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Diego is a former TLC student who is from Panama. He came to the United States in April of 2018 through a government-sponsored study abroad program. In this program experience, those chosen students had the opportunity to study four months of English with The Language Company-Edmond and one semester in select fields of study at TLC Host University, University of Central Oklahoma. He shared his great experience with TLC, UCO, and life in the United States.

I studied in the Intensive English Program for two months at TLC and switched to Advance Proficiency Level for the last two months of study with The Language Company. TLC’s average class size is around 10, so it is easier for me to get to know teachers and other international students. Especially, meeting my favorite English teacher, Andrew, every day was so much fun. Other than teachers from my classrooms, Nauzi, who is a part of TLC-Edmond’s administration staff, always encouraged me to practice English. That made not only me, but also other Panamanian students realize that we have to speak English repeatedly in order to improve. Because of these great teachers and staff, I felt comfortable with TLC Edmond’s atmosphere. There was no pressure to be perfect in English, just encouragement and support to improve. In addition, I really enjoyed TLC’s activities such as Board games and Karaoke parties. Through activities, I was able to meet new people and practice my English .

After four months studying at TLC, my UCO classes started. I usually woke up around 8:30 AM and ate breakfast. After eating breakfast, I went to my classroom by 9 AM and I usually stayed at UCO until 5 PM. When I was in Panama, I used to go to my university from 7 AM and had classes until 12 PM. After classes, I stayed at the library to study around 6 PM. Therefore, there is no big difference in my class schedule. My favorite class was Fundamentals of Speech. My professor, Ms. Carter, always joked around and I had so much fun. It did not feel like a class.
However, there were a few things that I felt completely different from what I was used to. For instance, enrolling for classes is much easier here and I can do it without seeing my academic adviser. On the other hand, in Panama, I had to see my academic adviser and followed what she or he told me to take for a semester. Without seeing them, I will not be able to enroll for classes. However, with the American enrolling system, everyone can get opportunities to earn knowledge from classes that they are interested in learning. In American universities, academic advisers are available to provide guidance on which credits are needed for each department in order for students to complete their degrees. This is the culture shock that I have experienced. Moreover, the style of classes varies from class to class. I never had the same classmates from my other classes. You will meet new people in each class room.

While I was in the United States, I stayed at the place called “The International House.” That is an off-campus dormitory, and you will see many international students from all over the world. My roommates were Oscar from Panama, Makinori from Japan, and Shinyu from South Korea. Because I met a lot of international students, it made me see things in a bigger picture. Before coming to the United States, I used to think about only Panama, but now I do not. Seeing cultural differences definitely made me open-minded.

My advice for those who want to study English in the United States would be to not be afraid of speaking in English. I came to the United States with many other Panamanian students.  Yet, I tried to be with both international and American students as much as I could.

Through this journey, I became more responsible, independent, and money-conscious. I also noticed that the more you work, the more you will get in the outcome. After coming back to Panama, I will keep studying my major, software engineering, to get a software developer job. I hope I can come back to the United States someday.

 

Thank you to Educasa Panama, IFARHU, The Language Company, and UCO for giving us this wonderful journey!

For to see more study abroad experience, check out this YouTube video! (credits: Joseph Morales)

Why I chose homestay

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Zhihao Jin’s Testimony

I have spent 3 weeks with my homestay family Michelle and Loren who are very nice people. There are some reasons why I chose homestay family instead of dorms and apartments.

1: Homestay family provides me transportation. It is very hard to move in Kirksville or the Midwest without a car, and most international students could not afford a car and it is very difficult for them to pass the driving license exam. Spending the money on a car or the time to pass the test, may not be reasonable even you are not planning to study in the U.S more than one year.

2: I could learn a lot of living experiences with homestay family. There are many differences in our daily life between USA and China. Homestay family teaches you how to use the washer and drier, also you directly learn how Americans live in their home.

3: I can participate in many activities with them, which would otherwise be hard for international students to try, like deer hunting, passing candies on Halloween, watch football and basketball in local high school, parade on street, etc. Foreign students may be hesitant to try any activities due to the language problems and bashfulness. However, homestay family will give encouragement to you to participate.

4: Practice speaking and listening skills, this is biggest reason for me to choose homestay. Actually, they are my best listening and speaking teachers. Indeed, sometimes it is hard to understand what they are talking about, but they will explain to me and correct my pronunciation.

5: I could feel that I live in my home. Michelle and Loren treat me as their own child, I don’t feel I am alone.

 

Thank you for sharing a wonderful testimony, Zhihao!

If you are interested in leaning English with an awesome homestay, click here to inquire about our program!

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