My preparation as an international student (Pt.3)

By: Julie Chau Pham

Part 3: Let’s go..

Before I go on this big trip, I actually have some companions. I’m not the only one that’s going to the US, there are four other older students who are going too. They’re all boys, so that makes me the little sister of them. Being the little one is actually not bad. They have more attention on me and care about me. We had a meeting before the big flights came around, we chatted about everything while having brunch. They are very nice and friendly, I felt less stressful when I knew I have a group to depend on.

Finally, the big day. My mom cooked the traditional noodle of my country for good luck, Pho. She said Pho will helps me never forget where I am from and I’m proud of that. My family and relatives all gathered around to said goodbye.


After dinner, my dad checked over my body temperature, see if I was okay; he checked over my suit case, my clothes to see if I am comfortable, my passport, I-20, etc. I’m the oldest in the family, but still, my dad couldn’t stopped worrying. I arrived two hours early at the airport, I was excited and afraid at the same time, it was a mixture of feelings. My family had to drop me off at the gate so I could do the paper work. “Ohh please please god have mercy and take care of my sweet grand daughter, she’s too young for this. Be careful, okay? Study hard and focus on your career. Remember to eat a lot on the plane okay? I’m too old to stay around forever! Please be the best of you.” – my grandma said with tears falling out of her cheeks. I wasn’t feeling emotional, not at all, but when my grandma got choke up a bit, and oh no, I blew it; tears started falling out my puffy cheeks. “Don’t do that mom! She needs to stay calm and happy to do this! Come here honey, it’s fine, you will be fine I’m sure. You will be home in no time. Don’t worry. We will be fine at home.” – My dad said while hugging me.

“Come here my little kitty, give mommy a hug before you run off.” – My mom came in. Now that I think about it, they all sounded like I was a five years old going to America. Lastly, I should recall that I have a five years old sister and three years old brother. They barely knows what to said, I mean they’re kids, they are too busy looking around the big air port. They actually knew I’m going somewhere to study, they just don’t understand the whole ideal of it. “Sis, where are you going? Can we come too, put us in your suit case.” – they said with their big eyes; they were so cute. “I have to go and study, you guys stay at home. Be good okay? Don’t disturb mommy and daddy. I will bring presents home soon. I love you, come here you!” – I said as I tried to pick both of them up and have the last hug. “Well I have to run now.. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine, I think. I love you guys. I’ll be home soon.” – as I walked to the “big gate of life”, waving, tried to stop sniffing and wiped off my tears. And my new life begins.



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Nacel Open Door

Nacel Open Door, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to international understanding and language education.

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