When Lee-Fang Chen and Selina Wang first arrived in Arizona, all they had was their luggage, each other and a common goal: to learn English.
“My daughter has always wanted to study in America, and it has always been a dream of mine to travel the world. To do either of these things, we knew we needed to be able to communicate in English. When we looked for English schools in Arizona, we found Global Launch,” said Chen.
For many international students, learning English in their home country is a challenge because there aren’t many opportunities to converse with native English speakers. Wang learned this firsthand: “The environment is very important when you are learning English. For Taiwanese learners, speaking skills are very important. We knew that we would be forced to use English all the time in our daily lives (in America), which helped us learn without pressure. I also knew that learning these skills would help me pass the TOEFLTOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It measures whether an English learner has mastered the language enough to take university-level courses taught in English. test.”
Along with learning a new language, both mother and daughter were forced to acclimate to an entirely different environment than their native Taiwan.
“When we first arrived to Arizona, I thought it was very brown with cactus and desert everywhere. When we came to ASU’s campus, we learned how very beautiful, big and joyful the campus is,” said Wang.
As classes began, both Wang and Chen experienced a new set of challenges.
“Of course the biggest challenge for me was the language. It is different when a second language becomes a part of your life,” said Wang.
“For me, there was a lot of homework, and the teachers push students very hard. I am also not very good with technology, and many things have changed from when I was a university student. For me, this was all very challenging, but my daughter helped me a lot,” Chen recalled.
“Because of Global Launch, I have gotten stronger and have become more mature. This experience brought us closer because we experienced every challenge together. This has made me feel really grown-up, and I now have more faith in myself.”
– Selina Wang, daughter
For Chen, another challenge was the age difference compared with many of her Global Launch classmates.
“I met a lot of friends who came from different countries and different ages,” she said. “I am 46, but studying with the young students made me feel young. It was interesting to share my experiences with people younger than me too. I was very happy every day.”
At the end of the session, both mother and daughter had a newfound respect for each other, a new confidence to explore the world, and a bond they would always share.
“My daughter’s English was better than mine, so she helped me a lot with homework and assignments. I enjoyed her helping me and loved the challenge. This experience has encouraged me to speak in English, and I feel I can now travel anywhere in the world,” said Chen.
“This experience made me feel like the roles were reversed, and I was able to take care of my mom a lot,” said Wang. “Because of Global Launch, I have gotten stronger and have become more mature. This experience brought us closer because we experienced every challenge together. This has made me feel really grown-up, and I now have more faith in myself.”
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