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Sunday, November 5, 2006

What should I tell my parents? 

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"Dear Ai,
I am here for a working holiday visa right now. Before I left Japan, I told my parents that I will come back to Japan after one year to graduate from my university. I realized one year is not long enough to master a foreign language. I am not satisfied my English skills and I would like to extend my stay for another year. What should I tell my parents?" Masaharu – Japan

Hi Masaharu, thank you for your e-mail. It happens quite often that many students plan their stay much shorter. This is because there is a myth out there that if you emerge into an English speaking country, you can automatically speak the language fluently. You need to be actively studying. During my stay in Vancouver, I saw many students who live without speaking any English!! On the other hand, I met people who had never left their countries, but can speak English like natives. Knowing and using language are two different things and your efforts make a difference dramatically.

I feel you have done your best. Learning language takes lots of time, so be patient with yourself. The best results come soon when you are in peace.

To answer your question, you should tell your parents honestly why you need to stay another year. You also need to tell them your study goal or plan (i.e. get TOEIC 900, or a tourism certificate), so they won’t think you are fooling around. If you show staying in Canada one more year gives you a better future, then they might accept easily. If you are relying on their support financially, then you should take their concerns into consideration as well.

By the way, do not send a quick e-mail about it!! Call them up and discuss with them. Good luck to you.

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