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"Do you like America or China?" - My life in a foreign country - UC prompt

bibrinko 1 / 1  
Nov 24, 2011   #1

Prompt - Describe the world you come from.

I was hoping for a natural conversation flow in my essay and Im not sure if it is. Also I am a big grammar dummy :P If you see any grammar mistakes; please tell me!! Thank You!

"Do you like America or China?" is the question that I was asked constantly during my four year stay in China. People would ask me this question and stare at me waiting for me to pick a side. At first I would just smile and said, "I don't know," but if someone were to ask me this question today, I would without hesitation answer, "both."

1991, my parents and my brother left China and flew to their new life in Alhambra, California knowing less than ten English words. My parents picked up whatever they learned from their small toy business in downtown, Los Angeles but it was still a struggle for them to adapt. When my brother was in high school, he helped out my parents by translating for my parents. I was born in United States in 1994. My brother and I are thirteen years old apart so he always acts like my dad. When my brother became independent on his own, I took my brothers job and began helping my parents. I thought it was embarrassing at first that my parents couldn't go to parent night at my school because they couldn't understand what's going on but I am proud of my parents' accomplishment. My parents tried their hardest to provide my brother and me the best foundation. But as a kid I couldn't understand my parents' effort and wasted precious life time on education.

2004, it was an empty summer because of the deadly disease spreading around the world and we moved back to China. We spent half a year in the capital of China, Beijing where I attended a Chinese private school. I was shocked that all the students acted really independent at a young age and already planned out their future in elementary school. They live in dorms at the school but my parents thought it was too early for me to live by myself. And it's true, at that age I was still thinking of playing with my Barbie playhouse. During our first winter Chinese New Year, we moved to my parents' hometown Dalian where I attended international school. I never felt that I truly fit in to the society. When people asked me where I came from; their expression were shocked and curious when I introduce myself as a foreign born child then without doubt I became the topic of the conversation. They will look at me as I am from a different species. Why? Do I look any different than any other girl living in China or is it just because I came from a different country?

My four years in China made me changed my life in countless ways. It exposed to me a diverse culture of the world and also a more understanding of who I am. My international school had helped me learn different nation's culture. Although it was sometimes difficult to connect with my Korean, Japanese, Malaysia, Denmark, or France friends, but I feel lucky that I was given a chance to be in a school consisting different nationalities. I saw that same nationalities like to form a group together. I was the only American so I couldn't fit in with the Korean group. I formed a multicultural group from the others that were left out. By the time I left, I was exposed to so many different cultural behavior and beliefs that I had built a cultural awareness on my foundation, rather than forcing one's own belief onto someone else. I learn that it's not always just about myself but also understand their perspective is important to for a communication. As a kid I thought I was the main character of every story and that the world evolves over me. Well this dream didn't last long; I saw that the world is complicated and I still have a long road to find my personality.

There were many lessons that I had learn from living in China. Understanding how education is important for my future, learning a foreign language has its benefits and most importantly I realized that I was the one that needed to change. I was the one that needed to understand that the people weren't judging me because I am different. The people that ask me questions just wanted to know more about me to help me adapt into the culture. Cultural awareness help me noticed my faults and changed the way I look at the world. Now, I have return to my home in America, I still think about China and I still have connections with all the teachers and friends in China.
shmaceroo 3 / 21  
Nov 24, 2011   #2
I don't exactly have the time to read it right this minute, but just on first looks, it looks a little long for the UC prompt. Remember, both essays combined have to be 1000 words or less, not each essay. Just make sure you keep that in mind. You may want to cut this one down a little bit, but that's up to you. :) Good luck.

Maybe I'll get a chance to read it later? I hope so.
StoneAMG - / 1  
Dec 2, 2011   #3
I come from China and read your essay completely half an hour ago. Sorry that I am not good at English but I enjoy your story.If you like we can communicate and share cultures later.
ckm120 - / 2  
Dec 2, 2011   #4
I think your story is an interesting one, overall your message is quite clear and strong. I corrected some grammatical mistakes and sentence structure to make it flow more naturally. Remember the prompt asks you about your aspirations, and you could write more about that in the conclusion. I feel like the last sentence is not very necessary. The essay overall is quite long for a UC app, I suggest cutting back on the second paragraph or making it more relevant to the rest of your essay about cultural awareness and personal growth.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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