It is not easy to adapt oneself to new circumstances especially moving to a country that you have never come always brings you difficulties such as: people, language, custom and culture… The first time I came to the US, I looked like a fish out of water. Everyone looked so different from people my country. I could not understand when they talked to me… But I was very lucky.
I met good friends and teachers at school. They helped me a lot not only studying at school but also getting used to my new life and American culture.I used to think that there is a little group of Vietnamese here. But after coming, it is not like that. I can see Vietnamese everywhere in Portland. At school, there are probably over 20 Vietnamese students. Every Sunday, I go to Church with my family, the number of Vietnamese there may add up to thousands of people.
Three months ago, I took the Oregon Instruction Permit Test at DMV. Once more, I was very surprised when they told me that I could take the test in Vietnamese. I realized there is a large Vietnamese community in Portland that I had not known about before.When I first went to school, I saw lots of Vietnamese students there. Because my English was not good, the counselor introduced me to 3 Vietnamese guys who were good to me. They were very nice to introduce everything at school to me such as: show me how to use my locker, how to pick up lunch… They also suggested me how to study and what classes I need to take or not. As a result, I used to want to make friends with all Vietnamese students in my school because I thought they could help me, and it was hard to make friends with other students while I was not good at English.
I almost used Vietnamese at school and joined their group. But after that, I realized that most of them are not as good as I thought. They usually use bad language, especially when they do not agree with the teachers. Because they spoke in Vietnamese, the teachers did not understand anything. I did not see the good in them. They always ask to borrow my homework and copy my answers when we had tests. When I came here, my goal was to study English well and get used to my new life.
That was why I decided to leave their group and stay away from them.That seemed to be a good decision. I tried to study more. I was brave to talk to my classmates and my teachers. They cared about me and helped me correct my bad pronunciation a lot. Now, I have 2 buddies, one came from China, the other came from the Philippines. They are really good friends.
My English has been improving considerably. I have more friends at school and do very well in every class. Then I got rid of the idea about making friends with Vietnamese. I remember I have 3 nice Vietnamese friends, and they are studying at university now.That does not mean I hate Vietnamese. There is a lesson to be learned from that matter: choose good company to make friend. Personally, I prefer non-Vietnamese to Vietnamese students because they can help me improve my English.
I used to think that I must pay a lot of money for going to school if I study in USA. But in fact, I don’t have to pay anything. Because my parents have low-income, I even have a free bus pass and free lunch at school. In the future, if I go to university, I will have financial aid to support my tuition. It is very different from my country.In Vietnam, I have to pay a lot if I want to go to school regardless if it is primary school, high school, or university. Lots of children cannot go to school because their parents cannot afford to pay for school.
Despite the government had policies to help poor students, those are not enough for everyone. These days, our life in Vietnam is better than in the past but there still have a lot of children who cannot go to school. I truly hope that the Vietnamese government can give the children the best conditions for them to study as the American government does.Last week, when I chatted with my friends on the internet, they told that I have changed so much. I used to wear shirt and pants in Vietnam. But after coming here, I realized that it is not suitable. Now I always wear a T-shirt and jeans.
That made me more confident because I looked like other guys. Last weekend, my family went shopping for the winter. For me, it was really great because we have not gone shopping together for a long time. When we were in Vietnam, my parents had to work very hard from morning to night. They always want to give my brother and me the best conditions to study.They do not want us to think about making money. My family is very important to me.
I always promise myself that I have to study hard and become successful. It will requite my parents’ services, and certainly that will be the biggest present which I can give them. In conclusion, there were many changes from the day I came here. Living 6 months in America was not a long time, but I studied many things here. Besides, my family is always next to me, and supports me whenever I need help. What I can do now is to continue to try more and do as well as I can. I will try to make my dream come true.
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