Moving to another country alone was not as easy as I thought.
It was tough to step off into a country that does not primarily speak my language. I never did this before, and this was my first time traveling to another country as an international student. I had no experience talking and listening to people who speak English. However, I learned that the most fundamental thing to help us to understand each other is language.As I arrived at the international terminal of Portland, the first thing I was wondering is, where was the immigration check-in or passport control? I was concerned about utilizing my limited English knowledge because it might be no understandable. In that case, I ignored my negative thoughts and tried to figure out how to ask the officers who were in the corner.
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Then, they suggested to me where I needed to go. Accurately, for some reason I didn’t comprehend it because they were talking too fast. I was said “OK”, but Instead of their suggestions, I decided to follow the crowd. Along the way, I saw that all the signs were in Spanish and Chinese too.After all that path, I finally got to the migration check-in line, and it was a short line. The hall was a little empty because we were the last airplane. I was looking around and then I saw some officers were really strict.
They were questioning a lot, and some were taken to an inspection room. I was getting a little nervous because I had no idea what they would ask me. When it was my turn, I took a deep breath and walked slowly into the officer counter. I took out my documents to show you. After he examined my documents, and he started questioning everything very seriously. I have never been in a situation like that, so that was shaking.
Although I didn’t speak very well, I was trying to respond in English. However, some of my words came out wrong. He seemed to not quite understand me at all. Then, I talked in Spanish because I thought he could speak Spanish as well. But he didn’t speak Spanish, and we were getting confused with each other. In the end, he called a translator to explain it and gave me all of my documents.
It was sort of dreadful because my phone had run out and I couldn’t contact my uncle. I spent an endless hour inside of the airport. It was 11 p.m., and I didn’t know if my uncle was waiting for me in the entrance. Immediately, I grabbed my luggage and dragged my suitcase behind me heading toward the entrance. Finally, I saw my Uncle.
I was extremely exhausted from the long journey.During all that check-in process, I realized my English was so terrible, but I was proud of myself to try it no matter how wrong it was. From then on, I strove to keep moving forward and improving my English every day.
I learned that sometimes we need to confront every situation in front of us and learning through our mistakes. The most meaningful thing in the world is language because wherever we go we needed.