Monday, June 15, 2009

Archie's Story, Part 2

"Do you want to know more about me? Do you want to find information? Are you curious about something? Interested? Ask me!" is exactly what I tell my fellow-country people if some of them - at times, it is very obvious - want to tell or ask me something. And here we are - a live interview with one of my Kazakhstani friends who has known me for a long time, yet has never asked me anything about America. He questions me, I reply. I find it very interesting as many Americans are eager to hear opinions of foreigners about themselves. Enjoy.

Rinat (my friend): When was the first time you traveled to the States? How old were you?
Artyom (myself): In May of 2006. I was 18.
Rinat: Did you like it in the beginning?
Artyom: I liked it through my whole journey – very much! But life was tough at times.
Rinat: Oh, I see. What do you mean 'it was tough'?
Artyom: Well, the immigration problems are ridiculous.
Rinat: But why did you choose America? What was your goal?
Artyom: My goal was to get into an American college and receive a degree.
Rinat: Why America?
Artyom: Several reasons: Education in English and English-speaking environment which is good for my future employment, high standards, world recognition. As far as everyone over here, in Kazakhstan, knows that there isn't a single college in our country that offers a degree completely taught in English. And this is a very important factor.
Rinat: That's very true. Did your American friends ask you why you had come to their country?
Artyom: I told them absolutely the same thing – to get educated in English.
Rinat: Were they surprised?
Artyom: Well, some of them didn't understand why I hadn't wanted to study in Kazakhstan.
Rinat: And how did you explain that to them?
Artyom: It wasn't that easy. In order to truly comprehend one's situation, you have to be in his shoes. In other words, if some of my friends spent some time in Kazakhstan and saw everything with their own eyes, they would have understood me the best. That's the whole point. Americans are first-world citizens. We, on the opposite, have passports from a developing country. I put it this way: Employers all over the world, especially internationally-recognized companies, regardless of the country, are looking for people who are professionally advanced in English despite their native tongue. If we are talking about entrepreneurs, international business managers, IT developers, the very first requirement on your resume has to be your great English. And the only way to become advanced in the English language is to receive your work experience and education in an English-speaking country. In addition to that, we are also talking about the quality of education.

(More of the interview tomorrow...)

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