GO: Prepared & HSCP graduate, now a freshman at Concordia
Yegor Buga from Kazakhstan, who is studying Film Production at Concordia College after completing GO: Prepared as well as HSCP (High School Completion Program), sat down with us and talked about his experience at Kings New York.
Please tell us your name and where you are from. Also please tell us about your home country.
My name is Yegor Buga and I’m from Kostanay, Kazakhstan. It is northern Kazakhstan. It is not a big city but not a small city either. It’s about 600 kilometers from the capital city. It gets very cold in winter and hot in the summer. I was born and raised there.
Yegor, you started studying with us on a GO Prepared (formerly UPP) course, and you completed Go Prepared Level 4 along with the Penn Foster High School Completion Program.
Can you tell us about your experience with the Penn Foster High School Completion Program? How does it work?
How it works is that you go on the website and log into your account. You have a certain number of courses that you need to complete and each course has several lessons. After completing all the lessons in the course, you take a test to get a mark and credit for the course.
What courses did you complete as part of your High School Completion Program?
In the beginning, I had to complete lessons like orientation, life skills, practical English etc. These were easier lessons. I also had some math lessons, also, physics, geography, and global history lessons.
Geography and history lessons were easy for me because in the exams questions were clear, but kind of difficult also because there was a lot of text to read. The more difficult lessons were physics ones and some history lessons because it required a lot of reading.
What did you do to prepare for each exam?
I wrote notes and took screenshots of the text to review while answering questions, and wrote unknown words down and looked for definitions in my language if I didn’t understand the words or the question.
Considering that the High School Completion Program entails independent work while completing courses on the internet, how did you manage your time to complete the program in one GO Prepared term (3 months)?
When I started the course, I was told during orientation that I must complete 3 lessons each day, Monday to Friday to make good progress. So I made it my goal to complete 3 lessons each day. I usually completed 1 lesson in the morning, took a break for 30 minutes, then completed another lesson, then had lunch and my afternoon English class, and then I completed 1 or 2 more lessons late afternoon, after my English class.
What did you find most difficult/challenging about this program?
Sometimes I did not understand the question even in my own language if I translated it, and sometimes I couldn’t find the right answer to the question, so those moments were difficult but I did not have many moments like these. Most of the time, the questions were very clear.
How would you describe your academic English language course that you took alongside the high school completion program? What did you like most about it, or what did you enjoy the least?
My academic reading and writing class was very structured and the teacher is very strict but he has a good sense of humor. He taught us many new words, lots about American culture; things that are important when you make a conversation with a member of the community.
And how is it being a freshman in a U.S. college now? What do you like about it? What do you find challenging?
It’s very interesting because I get to meet a lot of new people and make friends. They are all different and have their own ideas. Most of my classmates are American but I also have classmates from China, Mexico, and Japan. It is also easy to communicate with the professors. I think it’s good that we use modern ways to communicate like Whatsapp and email. The difference between Kings experience and college experience is that at Kings I only had 2 teachers, but at Concordia right now I have 6 different professors. In college, I also get to select my own courses which interest me so there is more variety.
What courses are you taking as a first year college student this semester?
New Media, Philosophy, First Year Experience, English Composition class with a lab, and Global History.
What do you learn in the First Year Experience class?
It helps us communicate with people better because they have good tasks like an event paper. You need to go to 6 events and then describe each event by writing about them. They give you a lot of time to work on these projects. It also helps me meet other people. It also teaches us about the history of our college.
Sounds interesting! And what do you learn in the New Media class?
This is a course that I chose as an elective. I am learning how to use Adobe Photo Shop and in the future I will learn about editing videos using Adobe After Effects.
What are your educational and professional goals for the future?
My dream is to make a film. It is very difficult. Not everyone can make a film. I want to study filmmaking. I enjoy movies that have a difficult, complex script. The genre doesn’t matter to me as much as the screenplay. For example, I enjoy the screenplays in Quentin Tarantino movies.
Where do you live?
I live on campus in the Romoser dormitory. It’s good. My roommate is from China. There are several events that are organized by the student experience team and we get emails about them. If you are an international student, you should live on campus because it is a big part of the international student’s life and helps you to practice English. If you speak with American students, you can learn more idioms and practice a more natural accent in English.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to go to the gym, read fantasy books and play guitar. I have been playing the guitar for 2 years. Never took lessons, I taught myself how to play.
What would you say to students who are thinking about coming to Kings New York for their studies?
I would tell them they should definitely come if they can. It is a good start to learn English for your future job and career. While studying at Kings, you can understand better who you are and who you want to be in the future.
What is the best memory for you while being at Kings or in New York in general?
Best New York memory is when I went to see Christmas Spectacular and the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. My best memory on campus is when we decorated the Christmas tree in Koepchen dormitory. It was a very warm and friendly atmosphere.