Written By: Nasser (Student, Saudi Arabia)
All my life, I wished to go abroad to study a new language. But I could not go since I was so afraid of traveling and talking to new people. I worked hard in school. After I finished my high school, my parents asked me to go abroad to study English. I was lucky because my parents asked me to do it, but at the same time I was also afraid.
After long time of thinking, I finally agreed to do it. I told my parents that I want to go to America and study English. I also told them that I am afraid of talking to new people and I read that the Americans are not so happy with talking to new people and not very helpful, but they told me I should try and everything will be okay. They tried to choose a very friendly city for me, so they chose Austin for me after a long research.
I did what they asked me to do. When I arrived to Austin, I felt excited. However, I found many difficulties. The biggest problem was the language. Since I could not speak English at all, it was hard for me to find an apartment because I did not know how to ask and who to ask. I asked people from Saudi Arabia to help me because they had been here before I came and they could speak English.
At school, I could speak English all the time. I made mistakes and asked a few questions. I tried as long as I could not to talk to anyone after school. I really felt homesick and lonely. Meanwhile, I had to live with people who spoke Arabic and I felt uneasy there, because I could not speak the language that I came here to speak.
After a long time I buckled down and I spoke to an old woman who lived next to me and I asked her some questions, and she told me that I had made a big mistake. Many people here love to talk and they would be happy to help. After that I started to talk to many Americans and speak English. I also moved to a new apartment with people from America and I made new friends.
In short, a year has passed and I have learned a lot of English. Now I can talk to people without any difficulty or fear. I changed my idea about America and American people. Today I live with my friends and I am very happy that I talked to that woman.