By Marissa Ruiz
All the way from Guangzhou, China, 17-year-old Angel Li traveled to attend East Los Angeles College this spring semester. Angel first heard about ELAC through an institute in China she had joined that told her of all the good schools in America.
“Then, I researched and knew I wanted to start in California,” Angel said. “Before I came here I studied and was determined to go to the US and then researched and found California had a lot of good schools.” Angel learned that California provided a large spectrum of schools and felt she would have a lot of good opportunities if she came here. She was also influenced to come here when she “saw the weather,” Angel said.
Angel is a full-time student with 18 units. She wants to transfer and then pursue accounting. She is not exactly sure of where she wants to transfer but she will transfer in 2015.
While making the trip to transfer to ELAC, she faced many struggles one being leaving her home. Guangzhou, China is approximately 7,436 miles from Los Angeles, California. “Sometimes I miss home because I can’t see my mom and dad, but it feels good while I’m studying because I know I can learn a lot,” Angel said.
Regarding the education, Angel said she is “not familiar with the courses and registration.” She said that registering for classes is sometimes a struggle because she is still getting used to ELAC’s system. “I like the style of studying because I can choose the teachers and classes,” Angel said.
On a larger front, Angel explained she is still trying to get to understand the culture and style. The biggest struggle, however, is that the language barrier is, at times, difficult, she said. Angel has not only challenged herself with 18 units, but immersed herself in extra-curricular activities as well. Angel joined ELAC’s touring theater.
ELAC’s touring theatre, led by Jim Buglewicz, prepares a play and performs it every week at different locations in front of live audiences. Angel said, “It is good. I learned I can challenge myself on stage and can become more confident.” Angel explained she did not really always have an interest in acting but joined to increase her confidence on stage and to challenge and immerse herself in the language.
Angel is currently living in an apartment near ELAC with a roommate who is also from China. “A lot of Chinese students come here like me,” Angel said. Angel enjoys being with all students who are at ELAC.
“I can make friends here and talk a lot in English and improve my English language,” she said. She explained that is one of the best parts about coming here.
She said she is very determined at ELAC and enjoys her education. It is hard at times for Angel, but she is enjoying and challenging herself. “I plan to transfer to a four-year and my job will maybe be in China or the US based on the job conditions,” explained Angel.