新视野大学英语2读写教程课文原文unit 4 Studying Abroad
Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.
Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.
1) How many foreign high school students travel to study in America each year?
2) What are their reasons for studying in America?
3) What are the problems the foreign students must cope with when they study in America?
Flight 830. Departure 10:45 p.m.
At first glance, this is just another routine flight to Los Angeles, California. Yet for 38 young passengers between fifteen and eighteen years of age, it is the start of a new experience: they will spend 10 months of their lives studying abroad, far from their families.
Every year the United States is host to an average of 78,000 foreign high school level students, of which 3,000 are Brazilian. All of them go for the same reasons — to become fluent in English, complete high school, and understand everything they can about the American way of life. At the end of each semester, as long as the students pass final exams, American authorities grant a certificate, which is recognized in Brazil.
For the majority, the decision to study abroad is taken only after a period of at least six months of careful planning. "For me," says seventeen - year - old Gloria Marcato, "it's more important to learn to speak English and to live through this experience than it is to receive a certificate from the American government." Others dream of continuing on to college. "I want to be a conductor, and I've already chosen the best American music school," specifies Sandro Rodrigo de Barros.
Things, as they say, are not always so easy. Even young students who plan on staying in the United States just long enough to finish two semesters of high school have difficulty finding a host family. Very few arrive in the country with all the details worked out. Gloria Marcato is one of the lucky ones. Before leaving, she had received two letters and some photos of her new "parents." "I think it all depends," says Gloria, "on how you answer the survey sent by the overseas study company here in Brazil. For example, I didn't economize on words. I even wrote about my four dogs, and said I went to church every Sunday." She hit the target. Americans are quite religious (the majority being Christian) and have a special place in their hearts for pets. American families, which host foreign students, are not paid, though they are allowed a small income tax deduction.
Each teenager is expected to cover his or her own expenses for articles for personal use, entertainment, long-distance telephone calls and clothing. Towards this, they should budget between $200 to $300 a month. In the event of illness, each student has a medical assistance card. Health insurance does not cover AIDS, abortion and suicide, nor dental and eyesight bills.
Basically, most students leave knowing they will have to do without their accustomed parental protection and learn to take care of themselves. However, no one packs his or her bags alone. Parents always give suggestions, or even take on the task themselves. The youngsters frequently show their lack of practice at such things. They take along unnecessary items. One student from the Brazilian South succeeded in stuffing two enormous suitcases to their capacity, and had to cope with her cabin luggage as well. As a result, she couldn't pull them around by herself.
For many, the departure at the airport is the worst time. Even though friends and family support the idea of going, it is difficult to say good-bye at this moment. "It's not easy to leave behind the people you love, especially a boyfriend. I cried at the departure and I cried on the plane too," says Patricia Caglian.
Another moment of tension descends while students await the domestic flight that will take them to their temporary home in America. From then on it's everyone for himself. No one really knows how she/he will adapt to such new customs. Though most foreign students remain in California, some are sent to Texas, Arizona, Idaho, Oklahoma or Virginia.
After a few days, the general complaint is about the food. "Even though I adapted easily, I really miss rice and beans. The food here doesn't look too nourishing," pines Fernando Andrade. Another big problem encountered by most youngsters is how sick they feel about being away from home.
One important regulation of the foreign study program has to do with the time, established by the host "parents", by which the teenagers must arrive home on weekend nights. "They're really tough," says Juliana Martini, who just finished her first semester. "You have to be in by 10:30 p.m., and if you do not obey, you get punished."
A few teenagers arrive in the United States with little command of English. In such cases the sole solution is private language study. This in turn pushes up the program cost, estimated at about $3,800, including air fare.