April 2012 Archives
Dear, My beloved friend.
I know you are really scared now, because I was very scared at first too. I still remember the anxiety I felt at the Vancouver airport while waiting plane to transfer to Alberta. I was so tensed when I said hello to my host family for the first time. You will face a lot of difficulties you never expected when you are in your home country. Even, I was so nervous when I ordered coffee at the Starbucks for the first time. I wanted to order "white caramel macchiato" but because they couldn't understand my pronunciation I ended up order "just hot coffee please."
I was so embarrassed and upset about myself but, please my friend, don't be afraid. I want you to more brave and confident about yourself first. You are an international student and I know we are so proud of it. Just remember, you are a foreigner who wants to "learn" English. You don't have to be as perfect as like a native speaker of English. When you learn something, especially when you try to learn languages, making mistakes is so natural and important process. Don't be shy. If you are shy, you are just a nonnative speaker of English who are literally "at" the land of America. Don't forget why you are there.
Last thing, I want you to remember that you should learn how to love yourself. Actually, I'm still struggling with that too. Language is not like a math. What you know doesn't mean what you can do. People might treat you like an idiot just because you cannot speak English well, even though it is not true. Whenever I should face with the fact that I cannot be a native speaker, I try to love myself more. Please don't kick yourself for not being fluent in English. You will eventually be so much better.
I hope you feel better after reading this :)
Michelle Hyoeun Chun