The Scarlet Scroll

International students adapt to life in new country, new school

Victoria Hoang, Staff reporter

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(From left to right) Stephanie Wang, Joy Zhy, Linda He and Sarah Cui study together for class.

For 5 percent of the student population, life at Mater Dei is very different from life at home.

International students on campus leave their home countries all over the world to get a chance to experience California and the United States.

“I was a sophomore when I first came here,” said senior international student Tim Tian, who is from Xiamen, China. “It was kind of scary because I knew no one. Everything’s new to me and I kind of like adventures and explore things.”

While applying to attend Mater Dei, Tian applied for six other schools in the United States, with Mater Dei being his first choice. Tian and other international students have noted that American students have more freedom than students in their home countries.

“The biggest difference is the time we finish the school,” said freshman international student Linda He, who is from JiangSu, China. “I finish school in China [at] half past five or if there’s a test, maybe finish at six.”

Linda He is currently living with a host family. She said she likes the many different classes and activities offered at school, such as design.

The school offers several resources to international students in order to help them adapt to their new environment.

“It’s really good of Mater Dei that they have a person like Ms. Lee, who can help international students with their adjustments here,” said senior international student An Vu, who is from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

According to International Student Coordinator, Janet Lee, students from all over the world come to attend Mater Dei. While most of the students come from China and Vietnam, a few are from South Korea, Japan, Brazil and Cambodia. The school received approximately 60 applicants this year, but it can rise up to 100 applications, depending on the year.

“We want to add to the diversity of Mater Dei, but keep the culture that we’ve had for over 67 years,” Lee said.

According to Lee, international students often have to depend on themselves when studying in a foreign country. However, she said, there are many resources and helpful people at Mater Dei to help these students acclimate to their new environment.

“They’ll depend on their friends here, classmates and teachers,” Lee said. “Everyone pretty much helps with getting them through the culture shock.”

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2 Responses to “International students adapt to life in new country, new school”

  1. Lili B on October 8th, 2017 1:56 pm

    Great job Vicky! You did great 🙂


  2. Tristan Tjan on October 10th, 2017 3:30 pm

    That’s really cool!


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International students adapt to life in new country, new school