Cultural shock

Marketa is originally from Czech Republic and currently is attending Oklahoma State University pursuing her degree in Marketing with a Minor in Management. While attending 21 credit hours she is able to work 25 hours per week as a Marketing Assistant at the Dean’s office of Engineering. Marketa was chosen outstanding senior for Marketing. Her hobbies are basketball, snowboarding, reading and hanging out with a friends.

Cultural shock? Yes! But not as big as shock from a load of work at school. I transferred from a college in Czech Republic to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. First semester I started with 12 credit hours, because I was scared that my English will be an obstacle and that the transition will be hard. To pay for my school I got a job on campus at dining services. It turned out that English won’t be problem at all. I was ashamed to speak at the beginning, but I went with the flow and learned quickly (when you are thrown between people and the only language you can use is English it is pretty easy to adjust).The biggest issue for me was to get used to all the homework, assignments and work load.
Let me tell you little more about Czech college system, so you can understand my struggle. Usually typical Czech student don’t have to do any homework or assignments during semester. It is enough if you go to the classes (not all of them requires attendance). In the end of semester there is a month and a half to complete all your exams which are comprehensive and usually oral. I know, it sound terrible, but believe me, it’s not. In this short period of time you get done everything and you can enjoy yourself during semester and have some fun as well.
Imagine that you come to the different country and you are just crushed with the amount of work you have to do. I have never done so much homework in my entire life, not even at high school. Since I came to the United States my life is basically consisted of two things – school and work. I am a senior now and I am working around 25 hours a week and taking 21 credit hours, so my life is just busy, busy, and busy. I feel like I don’t have any free time, for myself, my boyfriend or my friends and spend my entire time in the library, classroom or work.
Is all this worth it if I could just have fun at home and not pay for my school (yes, school in Czech is for free!). It is! This lifetime experience is the best thing that ever happened to me. I love people that I’ve met here and feel like I am accomplishing something valuable. American education is valuable in Europe and I am confident that with my experience and degree I will be able to find a job I like when I come home. This experience also opened my door to the American business world, where I would like to stay little longer and find a job as well.

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