Student Spotlight - Ho Tin Li

International Student Ho Tin Li at 2016 EvCC Graduation

Tell me a little bit about yourself (name, where you’re from, what brought you to the U.S.)
Hello! My name is Ho Tin Li but I usually go by Andrew. I am an international student at Everett Community College that joined this big community during fall quarter in 2014. I was born and bred in Hong Kong, which is nothing more than a typical big city full of crowds, skyscrapers and lots of grumpy drivers. Living in the downtown of the city may sound cool at first, but it kind of bores you eventually. To be honest, I was desperate for change, independence, challenges and adventure. Therefore, I chose to study abroad just like my sister did 13 years ago, coming to the U.S, and starting to chase my own American dream.

Why did you choose EvCC?
By the time I was having this thought of studying abroad in America, I was only about to finish grade 11 in high school and yet to get my high school diploma. I went up to my agency, seeking advice and they talked about schools they recommended, one of which is Everett Community College. I was told that this school has great resources and opportunities in Engineering for students. Not only that, the school also offers a high school completion program for students like me who hadn’t finished their high school degree before coming to the college. But what really got me, is the location of the college. This school literally has the best spot with all the lakes, mountains and ocean around. Taking everything into account, I had the best two years in my life.

What are you studying at EvCC?
I had finished my high school completion program and have been studying for Aerospace Engineering for two years at EvCC.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an International student?
To most international students, the toughest struggle is probably about expressing themselves in a totally different country using a language which we are not familiar with, and I am no exception. It is discouraging when you couldn’t explain stuff well enough and tell your thoughts to others. Sometimes, misunderstanding is inevitable.

How have you overcome these challenges? Who has helped you?
What I learned during these two years is that we have to be brave enough to accept the fact that not everyone is perfect and flawless. You have to know what you are not good at and embrace what you are actually good at. To overcome those challenges, I stepped out of my comfort zone to accept and learn new things. Also, I wouldn’t make it too far without the friends I made in the U.S. They had helped me go through a lot of things to eventually overcome the adversities.

What do you plan to do next? (Job, transfer, etc.)
My next step in life will be transferring to the University of California in Los Angeles to continue my Bachelor degree in Aerospace Engineering for the next 2 years.

How do you feel EvCC has prepared you for success in the UCLA Aerospace Engineering program?
I took so many classes and I really admire the instructors who had taught me. All the teachers I met are undoubtedly intelligent and passionate about teaching. Not only did they teach me new things, but they had also showed me the right ways to study.

Who has helped you succeed at EvCC?
I would like to thank everyone I met at this college who either talked to me, taught me or guided me through things. Especially my close friends, high school advisors, engineering advisors and all the instructors that had taught me before. Those are the people who have shaped my personality, values and also broadened my horizons.

Describe the best experience you had at EvCC? 
The best experience is definitely those days of being a tutor in the tutoring center at EvCC. This job offered me a great opportunity to lend a hand to students who struggle with studying. Tutors like me were trained to teach students who need help in whatever way that fits them best. Tutoring is not just about teaching or helping, but also about understanding the stories of each student and communicating with them throughout the process. I was learning as much as I could about communicating and teaching and truly benefited from it.  

What advice do you have for new students, particularly those coming from other countries?
Be active and engaged in activities around you and be confident in yourself. Be adaptable to the new surroundings, new culture, and new people.