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Keys to Maximizing Your US Educational Experience: Strategies for Studying, Networking, Improving Your English, and Cross-Cultural Learning

Our speakers are Ms. Ellen Wang, the educational advisor, Mr. Clarence Fu, educational advisor , Foundation for Scholarly Exchange and Rae Lan, Assistant Professor, English Dept., Soochow University.

Keys to Maximizing Your US Educational Experience: Strategies for Studying, Networking, Improving Your English, and Cross-Cultural Learning
Wednesday, April 19 2006 (2:00 PM - 3:30 PM)

Please note: Portions of this transcript have been edited for clarity

Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)

Hi, my name is Rae Lan and I am currently teaching at Soochow University, English Department. I got my doctorate in TESOL at the Univ. Of Maryland, College Prk in 2005. Glad to be here to share my experience and any questions are welcome!

 

Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)

Hello, I am Clarence Fu, the educational advisor of Foundation for Scholarly Exchange.

 

Host: (Ms. Ellen Wang)

Hello, everyone. This is Ellen Wang, the education advisor of Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Foundation). It's my pleasure to be here and answer your questions.


Start of Chat


 

Host: (FSE Advisor)
Q
我想請問如果參加所謂的短期語言進修大概要多久時間呢?還有學費大約要多少?推薦一下美國有關於短期語言進修的學校!謝謝~~
A
短期語言進修可以短到兩或三個星期,也有長到一學期.選擇很多,學費每月從900到1500美金都有.城市比較貴,生活費則是美金800到1400元.美國語言學校眾多,可上www.applyesl.com去搜尋理想的學校. (2006-04-19 13:00)
 
Host: (FSE Advisor)
Q
1.目前本身就讀於師大生命科學系,未來希望能夠朝研發化妝品保養品方面進行以及之後能夠在業界工作,不知道美國有沒有符合我需求的研究所或進修的地方。畢竟這個領域的研發在台灣還不是很健全,所以相關的科系也很少.就我所知歐洲以及日本在這方面也很有成就,不知道美國的情況如何?2.如果有符合我需求的學校大約要花多少錢?有沒有獎學金的補助 3.有需要念語言學校嗎?Thanks!
A
研發化妝品保養品要唸化學系所即可,有同學從化學所畢業,就應徵到化妝品公司的工作,美國學校的總共費用每年從約15000美元到50000美元都有.私立比較貴.碩士階段的獎學金較少,成績優秀的話在公立學校可以要求減免學費或是申請獎學金,除非英文程度很好,最好在唸研究所前唸一到兩個月的語言學校,開學後上課比較不會吃力. (2006-04-19 13:02)
 
Host: (FSE Advisor)
Q
我打算前往美國留學,領域為TESOL,我的條件如下: TOFEL's score is 210 and G.P.A. is 3.54,目前處於申請學校的階段,希望未來就讀城市在 Texas state, Ohio state, Penn state, Illinois state, and Indiana state.不知道您會推薦我哪些學校呢?
A
學術交流基金會的立場不會推薦特定的學校,但是我們會協助你尋找適合自己的學校.由於選校要考慮的因素很多,歡迎你抽空來基金會個別諮詢,有些學校的TOEFL有設門檻,如果差的太多的學校就不需要考慮了. (2006-04-19 13:03)
 
Host: (FSE Advisor)
Q
我現在是大二學生,希望能在大四畢業後到美國留學.我想請問 1. 若說大四畢業後希望能出國留學,大概要什麼時候把托福跟GRE給考完?(我會在2008年暑假畢業) 2. 準備各種的申請資料大概需要多早開始準備? 3. 如果研究所想要念跟現在大學的科系不一樣的話,是否建議在大學裡修一些相關的基礎科目? 4.現在美國私立大學學費平均大概是多少(EX:長春藤盟校) 5.美國研究所的教學方法大概是用什麼樣的方式進行?
A
如不考慮兵役,在大三下一開始就準備GRE,考六月或十月,托福也要在十一月前考完,接著十一月到明年三月申請,如此可在秋季赴美.準備申請資料至少要一個月的時間,在大四上開學後就準備,要轉領域最好先唸相關基礎科目,私立名校學費一年在30000到40000美元之間,生活費另計,大約10000美元一年,教學方法除講課外也有討論課. (2006-04-19 13:26)
 
Host: (FSE Advisor)
Q
1. 我出國想要唸財務經濟博士,台灣碩士的學分和學歷是否會不承認呢?? 2. 我是否可申請上之後,當完兵再出發呢?(怕被取消資格) 3. 博士都是唸五年嗎?一般都是怎麼樣可以畢業呢?(ex.論文通過學術期刊) 4. 最好要有什麼樣的經歷可以幫助通過博班申請呢?(ex.義工嗎?)
A
1. 教育部承認的學歷,美國就承認,但學分要看各校認定. 2. 申請上後可要求延後一年入學,但是兵役卻超過一年,所以要問學校可否接受延到春季班. 3. 五年是大約的期間,可能較短或更長. 4. 有paper在國際學刊發表對申請很有幫助,不然就是教授對你的研究領域有興趣. (2006-04-19 13:31)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
請問如果GRE和托福成績都不好...但是碩士班: 有不錯實驗結果,有幫助嗎?
A
It sounds like you are probably in the science field. Basically it depends on how bad your test scores are. If it is way too much below what is required by the department that you are applying, then it might be hard. If not, you should try to emphasize the positive results from your experiments for your master's studies. And it would also help if you ask your professor who would write you a good recommendation letter to emphasize this. Basically highlight your strength and de-emphasize your weekness. (2006-04-19 14:14)
 
Host: (Ms. Ellen Wang)
Q
請問新制托福在台灣哪時才能開始考?
A
根據ETS的公佈,新制托福原本ETS公佈是在4月8日更改台灣地區的考試方式,不過隨後立即發布新聞稿宣布延後更改。Please directly check the ETS website for updated info. (2006-04-19 14:14)
 
Host: (FSE Advisor)
Q
Why the institute in US is not happy to sponsor j visa? Is it good to receive an observership and stay for 1 year by B1 visa?
A
Some institutions are not able to be a sponsor of the J visa. It requires special permission from the U.S. government. Your must travel to the U.S. on the type of visa that matches your purpose. Please check with your U.S. institutions to clarify the right visa. (2006-04-19 14:20)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
請問今年新制托福啟用後,學校是否就不再接受舊制托福?!
A
舊制托福(CBT)兩年內仍然有效. (2006-04-19 14:21)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
如果有一所學校,在美國教育部所核准的私人認證機構認證成功,但在六大地區高校聯盟卻好像沒有得到認證.比如說,美西的六大地區高校聯盟是WASC,而美教育部所核准的私人認證機構有ACICS, NASAD及WASC.這所學校通過ACICS和NASAD的認證,但在WASC上卻找不到它的認證.請問這樣實質上會有什麼影響?這應該不是野雞大學吧?既然都通過ACICS和NASAD的認證了.沒通過WASC會有什麼差別?
A
A: 只要是美國教育部認可的認證機構認證的學校,我國教育部就承認,和認證機構的多寡並無直接的關係. (2006-04-19 14:22)
 
Host: (Ms. Ellen Wang)
Q
請問台灣有先出國,回國再當兵,這種緩徵制度嗎?
A
沒有,男生通常是要服完兵役之後,才可以自由出國唸書。但是如果是役齡以前,請上出入境管理局網站上公佈的兵役法,裡頭有對役男出入境的詳細說明。 (2006-04-19 14:22)
 
Host: (Ms. Ellen Wang)
Q
我想線上應該很多已經被接受的人.但是應該跟我一樣,想要拿A,但是又不知道怎麼讀書?
A
先了解各科老師對課程的要求與給A的標準,與之前修過此課程的同學詢問經驗。直接與老施溝通了解其對於A paper 之要求期待。 (2006-04-19 14:24)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
會不會因為教學方法不同而導致學習落後?
A
You are right, American professors might teach in a very different way compared to the professors here in Taiwan. If you are going to a grad school, you need to be independent and take initiatives. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Most professors are aware of the fact the Asian students might be a bit slow in listening comprehension and will be more patient. However, you need to let your professors know what difficulties you are facing and let them know that you are committed to try your best. (2006-04-19 14:24)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
請問外國博士班通常是念5年嗎?或者要看指導教授呢?有可能三年畢業嗎?
A
博士班的修業時間不一定,一般是五年上下.如果表現優秀而且教授也同意,是可以提早口試. (2006-04-19 14:24)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
請問是否有較便宜的學校或社區大學提供語言課程?
A
語言學校的學費差異大致和地區有關,大城市的比較高,一個月高到1500美元,到中西部的學校會比較便宜,你可以上網比較. (2006-04-19 14:27)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
如果事先跟外國教授通信,會比較容易申請學校嗎?
A
It depends on how responsive your professor is. Based on my personal experience, I did call my professor in advance regarding my application. What happened was that my professor was given an opportunity to know that my English was quite fluent and the phone call in a way speeded up my application. It is also a good idea to let them know that you take it very seriously and show your strengths if possible. (2006-04-19 14:29)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
Hi, my problem is: I got 9 rejections, and 1 admission (PSU). I am worrying that I am not good enough to go to US, and will be very hard even not able to pass the whole study. What should I do?
A
如果英文不佳,建議先去該校語言學校上學術準備課程(academic preparation),才不會同時面臨學業及語文的雙重壓力,另外在出國前再複習加強專業科目也有幫助. (2006-04-19 14:36)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
如何有效率地做筆記?使用中文或英文,何者較佳?或者有其他建議?
A
用中英文作筆記皆可,但專業術語必須用英文。當教授在課堂上引用他人之文獻,確定 A姓名b年代 (下課時與老師同學作確認)。針對口音較重的(非美國籍)之教授,不管是錄音或和教授同學直接討論,用便利貼註明重要頁數。 (2006-04-19 14:39)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
如何寫出好報告的方法及策略?
A
最重要的是先讀別人的Paper,期刊研究報告,各領域的研究報告可能有特定的格式級習慣用法。 (2006-04-19 14:40)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
上課時是否都須帶著notebook?
A
It depends on how skillful you are with your notebook. (2006-04-19 14:41)
 
Host: (FSE Advisor)
Q
請問美國的醫療保險,對 J or B visa 有何差別?
A
沒有任何差別. (2006-04-19 14:43)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
發表意見時,語氣及態度該如何拿捏? 如何有禮貌的表達己見,又不會過於直接突兀? (擔心自己發言不當,因不懂美國文化而造成誤解.)
A
避免看著paper唸稿子,擅用powerpiont and be well-prepared. If not, act confidently! 先請native speaker看過任何你要去turn in 的paper, oral presentation need to rehearse. (2006-04-19 14:44)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
請問顧問,申請研究所可以轉換完全不相同領域嗎?
A
美國學制的彈性很大,但是你要說服對方為什麼要收你,例如大學已修過相關課程或是已在這領域有具體成績,有時錄取後,還要求你到大學部補修學分. (2006-04-19 14:45)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
請問辦F1 student visa一定需要學校的I-20嗎?因為我已經收到錄取通知但I20還沒寄來.
A
一定要,今年開始在開學日前120日,就可以拿I-20申請F-1. (2006-04-19 14:47)
 
Host: (Ms. Ellen Wang)
Q
所以如果在課程開始之前,直接去跟老師說我要拿A然後問他的標準,這樣老師是可以接受的囉?
A
原則上是先完全了解了標準之後再做準備,是非常實際的學習態度。能和老師做好事前溝通會是很理想的,但是也別忘了要先了解老師的個性,各有不同。 (2006-04-19 14:24)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
如何舒發課業壓力?有何諮詢管道嗎?
A
融入native English speaker的圈子,以及各種興趣發揮,找尋同鄉支持與資源。 (2006-04-19 14:50)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
如何融入各國同學的生活圈?如何和他們交朋友?有哪些話題比較容易溝通?
A
男女各不同,以你們的專業背景個性與興趣。 Be open-minded and willing to share and give. (2006-04-19 14:51)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
如何面對黑人?他們真的比較有危險性嗎?該如何防範?或是該用何種態度因應面對?
A
黑人比例可能依各校有所不同,但接觸機會應該相當大。既然已到研究所,大部分同學可能皆為佼佼者,不應預設任何立場,以誠信相待才是,不論膚色。注意與黑人同學交談時對於黑人(African American)的稱呼,和敏感話題的處理。 (2006-04-19 14:51)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
Hi. I got 270 in TOEFL, and am now a simultaneous translator, but I've never studied abroad. Do you suggest me to study some language school first?
A
舊托福分數高顯示不出學生的口說能力,所以才會有新托福的出現,以你的分數,如果你對口說有信心,是可以不用上語校. (2006-04-19 14:53)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
在學習上面,學校除了圖書館、教授,哪些資源是我們可用?
A
1. listening comprehension- many students first feel that what the professors are talking is all GREEK to them. It is only natural since you need to allow yourself TIME to adjust to the speed and the accent of your professors. As for taking notes, use Chinese if necessary. 2. Giving oral presentation- Avoid from reading from the paper when you give your oral presentation. You also need to familiarize yourself with using power point slides for presentations. Make sure that your written paper is read and edited by a native speaker before your turn it in. With oral report, make sure you pronounce most works correctly. If there are any words you are not sure about how to pronounce, ask a native speaker. (2006-04-19 14:53)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
請教一下顧問,與教授通信時的內容應該提些什麼?提出與研究相關的問題嗎?如何明確的說明想請教授考慮自己?要注意哪些禮儀問題?謝謝.
A
基本禮貌當然要注意,有些名教授收到太多電子郵件不見得會回信,此外最好是會對你的申請有幫助,才試著和教授連繫. (2006-04-19 14:54)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
請問顧問,如何決定自己往後想念的領域?
A
Well, you first need to ask yourself two questions: 1. What is it that you really really want to do? 2. Will you be able to use this to make a reasonable living and even making contributions to the field. You might decide on something that you are not very very interested in but it might be something positive for future career. Are you willing to sacrifice your personal interest to study in a filed that you might not be so excited about. Another perspective would be looking at your strengths. You might be very very good and professional in a field that you might not like very much. However, if you have the strengths or the potential, you should go for it! (2006-04-19 14:56)
 
Host: (FSE Advisor)
Q
Can international student apply for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
A
This limited to U.S. citizens. (2006-04-19 14:59)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
Besides language and activeness, what's the biggest different of studying between US and Taiwan?
A
1. Taiwanese students are not very well-trained in doing search and using resources available. As a grad student, first thing you need to learn is about how to search for information. Ask your professor a list of the journals that are considered important in your field. Also learn to find out what resources are available help you with your academic career. 2. The use of English for academic and personal communication. 3. Cultural diversity - You might be studying in a class where there are more than five nationalities and it would be very exciting to learn from students of different ethnic background. (2006-04-19 14:59)
 
Host: (Ms. Ellen Wang)
Q
請問念語文學校最久大概可以念多久呢?謝謝.
A
原則上只要你的經費充裕,語言學校並沒有時間限制,但是隨著你的英文程度不斷進步,你會不斷升級. (2006-04-19 15:04)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
希望自己的信件對於申請有幫助,請問這樣的信件應包含哪些內容?
A
通常是你對這個教授的研究領域有興趣,而且自己有一定程度的了解,如果只是泛泛之談,寫信對你沒有幫助. (2006-04-19 15:05)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
請問一下,我想要念美國的財務經濟博士.現在是資管碩士生,是否不承認台灣的學歷?
A
只要台灣教育部承認的學歷,美國就承認. (2006-04-19 15:07)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
可以請顧問分享一下參加conference的經驗?還有如何在conference裡面做學習?
A
Attending conferences is a very important experience as well as credits to add to your C.V. Start with the local and national conference first and then go international. There are many things you can learn when you go to conferences. First of all, if you are only attending a conference, learn to network with people. Choosing topics that you are really interested in and that are helpful to your research is key. Secondly, if you are going as a presenter, you need to be well-prepared. Make sure that you have at least two copies of your PPT slides since technologies can fail us sometimes so you need to be prepared for that. Rehearse many times before you give your presentations. Make sure that you have your name cards ready just in case someone might come and ask for further contact regarding your research. I also learn to enjoy the entertainments that I can get from attending a conference. Most conferences are held in well-know conference centers where there might be some sightseeings you can do. So edutainment rather than just either education or entertainment. (2006-04-19 15:09)
 
Host: (Ms. Ellen Wang)
Q
請問可否推薦幾間學校?有關TESOL program不錯呢?或者有什麼網站,我可以查詢呢?
A
我會建議你先上一個資料很豐富的TESOL網站,http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/index.asp. (2006-04-19 15:10)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
請問你們的地址是在哪裡?
A
學術交流基金會地址:台北市泉州街1之A號,和建中隔著泉州街,週一到週五下午兩點到四點接受個別諮詢,預約電話02-2332-8188. (2006-04-19 15:11)
 
Host: (Ms. Ellen Wang)
Q
請問 UCLA的生活資訊要到哪裡去查?
A
我幫你找好了連結,你就可以直接得到UCLA的生活資訊http://www.studentlife.ucla.edu/. (2006-04-19 15:15)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
顧問一直回答說寫信泛泛的沒有幫助,但最前面又提到主動與教授聯絡,能展現很多積極的特色,機會也比較多,所以才想要請教,如何才不會變成泛泛的?如何才叫做積極主動的聯絡?事先瞭解所有與教授相關的研究,提出相關領域的問題,並附上自己的研究計畫與經歷,是否比都不做來得好呢?這樣的話,仍是泛泛不必要的聯繫嗎?麻煩您,謝謝!
A
Well, what we are trying to advise you is that you need to have a purpose of writing to your professor. For example, you would like to ask him a question about your field. Or you would like to ask for his feedback on your research. Some professors are very generous and they would respond to such a request. However, many professors are extremely busy, that is why you might not be able to get a response back. You might also tell the professor that you are very interested in his research and you happen to have done some similar research and ask him/her some questions. The most important idea is you need a good reason and a purpose for writing to the professor. Remember only do so if you believe that this will be a PLUS to your application. (2006-04-19 15:19)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
我明年即將五專畢業, 是不是能在畢業後,去美國再唸二年,以同等大學學歷畢業呢?
A
你可以像社區學院畢業一樣,插班大學三年級,然後要看對方學校扣抵學分的程度,有可能要從大二開始唸起,有時可能還會要求先唸語言學校. (2006-04-19 15:20)
 
Host: (FSE Advisor)
Q
If I wanna attend ESL program before the school starts, how should apply for that visa then? Can I just apply for tourist visa first?
A
It depends on the ESL program. Some ESL programs require an F-1 visa. Please ask the school you are applying to so that you will have the right visa. (2006-04-19 15:22)
 
Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)
Q
在研究所讀書的時候 如何準備未來要在美國工作的能力?
A
1. You should make sure that there is a job market available in your field and what qualifications needed for that job. 2. Make sure that you have basic or even good language commend that would allow you to help you communicate in your job. 3. Recommendations are very important, so you need to have good GPA and good reference letters from your professor. (2006-04-19 15:22)
 
Host: (Ms. Ellen Wang)
Q
去美國讀大學可以用貸款嗎?
A
到美國讀大學的學費,當然可以向台灣的銀行貸款,但是不在教育部補助範圍之列。 (2006-04-19 15:23)
 
Host: (FSE Advisor)
Q
去美國念大學一定要考托福嗎? 台灣學生需要考SAT嗎?
A
You will need to take the TOEFL if you attended a local high school (lessons taught in Chinese). The top colleges/universities will require SAT. (2006-04-19 15:27)
 
Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)
Q
請問在國外念博士班,是不是比較多的是國際學生?如果學校沒有錢,是不是比較不喜歡收國際學生?如果沒有申請獎學金,他們會比較容易考慮嗎?
A
不一定,要看領域.美國很多funding都到博士班,所以博士生大部份都有獎學金或補助,博士要唸五年左右,要確定你的經費足夠. (2006-04-19 15:28)


End of Chat


 

 

Host: (Prof. Rae Lan)

To all of you that have joined us this afternoon, I am very pleased to be here to share my experience in studying in the U.S. Since I am in TESOL, if any one of you has any specific questions, please email to me at rae@scu.edu.tw and I will certainly do my best to answer your questions. I am also impressed by the fact that you have all reach out first first step by knowing how to make the best use of resources like what is offered here by AIT. Good luck!.

 

Host: (Ms. Ellen Wang)

Thanks you for being here with us. I also learned a lot from students' questions and will design more interesting programs or invite suitable speakers for further information. Hopefully, we can help more students with better advising services. All of FSE's educational activities are free and I encourage everyone come to our center to join us. Every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, we hold in-house and workshops activities in our own library.

 

Host: (Mr. Clarence Fu)

今天謝謝各位的線上參與,祝大家都能申請到理想的學校.也歡迎到基金會來諮詢和查資料.