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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
I have always wanted to study abroad and be the person I always wanted to be. So I never thought that when I was in college I would be ever leaving my country to study abroad. Fortunately for me, I was picked to study in the USA, a foreign country. This gave me the opportunity not only to be independent but to discover that people in other parts of the world are also unique in their own way.

I found that life in a foreign country can be very lonely. I have always considered myself a warm, friendly and an easy-going person. However, those qualities were not sufficient to build close relationships with people in America. Americans generally do not befriend foreigners easily. They are often cold to anyone different from them. And of course, dating was problematic! I had dated a few American men but the dates were not successful. I found the men to be unpredictable and aggressive. I just did not understand them at all. A friend of mine gave me some advice as to how to win the hearts of Americans. First, she said, do not criticize the American way of life and second, be open-minded and accept new changes. I took heed of her advice.

Another aspect that I did not like was the American system of education. I liked my professors, but I did not think the system of undergraduate education in the university was effective. Unlike in Malaysia, students here had more freedom. They did not attend lectures every day, had less assignments to do, and less tests and quizzes to take in their courses. Upon completion of a certain number of courses, students were awarded a certificate as proof of attendance. Then after four years of attendance, they took the final examination and obtained a university degree.

I found the atmosphere in some classrooms quite formal. Students called their lecturers 'Professor James' and 'Mr Keats' and I guess this showed respect. Some lecturers even wore business attire while giving lectures in class. Other classrooms had a more informal atmosphere. Students and lecturers discussed their ideas as if they were the best of friends and some students even called their lecturers by their first name. This approach to teaching and learning really appealed to me. Another surprise was the way students learned in America. It was different from the way we learn in Malaysia. American students asked a lot of questions and discussed their ideas in class more than Malaysian counterparts who prefer to remain quiet during class discussions.

Regardless of the difficulties that I had to endure when living in America, I think I coped fairly well. In the end, on returning home and upon reflection, I can proudly say that there is no country on earth like my own-Malaysia-with its warm climate, evergreen surroundings, and colourful people.

     
    Using contextual clues, find a word with the same meaning as the following words from the passage.
  1. opportunity
  2. unpredictable
  3. obtained
  4. approach
  5. endure
     
    What do the following words and phrases in the passage refer to ?
  1. those qualities
  2. They
  3. their
  4. their
  5. its
     
    Answer the questions below based on the passage.
  1. What are some of the writer's opinions regarding Americans ?
  2. The writer's friend gave some advice to the writer to overcome the problem regarding relationships. State the advice.
  3. According to the writer, she disliked the system of undergraduate education at her university and thought that the students there 'had more freedom' (paragraph III). What did she mean by that statement ?
  4. What is the main idea of paragraph IV ?
  5. Which of the following statements is true about Americans and America ?
    A. Americans are proud of themselves.
    B. Americans are very opinionated.
    C. America has become the model for other countries to imitate.
    D. America undergraduates are open-minded.
  6. Choose the best answer to describe the writer's character and personality.
    A. The writer is an interesting person.
    B. The writer is very sceptical and cold to others.
    C. The writer has a strong will do adapt to a new environment.
    D. The writer adores Americans.
     
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    Answers
     
1.   chance
2.   difficult/ unable to expect, judge or guess
3.   got
4.   way
5.   withstand
     
1.   friendly, warm and easy-going
2.   Americans
3.   the American students'
4.   students' and lecturers'
5.   Malaysia's
     
1.   They are often cold towards anyone different from them and American men are also unpredictable and aggressive.
2.   The writer's friend advises the writer not to criticize the American way of life, to be open-minded and to accept changes.
3.   Students in America do not have to attend lectures every day, have less assignments to do, have less tests and quizzes to take, will be given a certificate upon completion of a number of courses, and finally will be given a degree after four years.
4.   The writer likes the informal approach of teaching and learning in American classrooms. such as the attire of the lecturers, the style of lecturing, the way the students learn and the rapport between students and lecturers.
5.   D
6.  

C

     
 
 
 
 

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