My first year at San Diego Jewish Academy
by Wenduo Yin.
Wenduo Yin שלום, אני .
That is “Hello, I am Wenduo Yin” in Hebrew. I am an international student from Beijing, China. I am a freshman at the San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA). Before deciding to study abroad, I visited several schools in the United States at the end of last year. Students and teachers at SDJA were very friendly and enthusiastic. My family and I had a wonderful impression of SDJA, so I decided to apply to this school. This is the fifth month that I have studied in the United States, and I have had a lot of interesting experiences so far.
First of all, I would like to talk about the language barrier. This is the one thing international students and their parents worry about the most. From what I see, if your TOEFL test is not too bad and you like watching movies and reading books (even if you play video games in English which is helpful for learning English), you don’t need to worry too much about the language barrier. My advice is, don’t be shy to talk to your classmates. They will not laugh at your accent or at the mistakes you make as they are willing to help, and it will be fun.
Another thing I would like to share about is my experience in the U.S. A. The lifestyle here is totally different from China. Here, you will feel freer than in China, but there is a down-side as well – the public transportation system is not as advanced as in China. There are very few buses or trolley outside of downtown, so you depend on your host family for transportation. It is important to communicate with your host family about your daily plans such as if you want to go to the shopping mall or somewhere else. Most of the time, the nearest plaza for daily necessities is about a 30-minute walk away. You cannot go out with your friends and classmates frequently and there are much fewer places to visit entertainment. So, if you live here, having a hobby is important. Then you’ll have something to do, and you will not feel bored and lonely.
Lastly, how do you quickly integrate and become the most popular person at your school? Just kidding! I found that the most efficient way to integrate is to join a sports team. For me, I joined our football team this year and I had a great time. I made a lot of friends there, from freshmen to seniors. They are very friendly, and they helped me understand football. Football is a little bit complicated, but it is a really interesting sport. If you are strong or fast, football is suited for you. In this season, my achievement is I tackled the other school’s quarterback and I stopped him from scoring a touchdown.
Facts have proven that it was a good choice coming here. I made a lot of friends and we helped each other out. I love my school and I have enjoyed the five months of studying in the United States. I look forward to exploring more on my international adventure.