A window into American culture
In countries around the world, education is valued as important and worthwhile. However, schooling varies from culture to culture. In order to experience different types of education, AmeriStudent offers students with the opportunity to study abroad.
Several students from China are currently shadowing students on campus in order to learn about education in the United States. They attend Veritas School, which has campuses in both Virginia and Beijing. Many of the foreign students look to attend colleges in America and hope this experience will help them prepare for their future.
CEO of AmeriStudent and FC alumni, Adam Lee, hopes the experience immerses the students in American culture and education.
“The main purpose is to get them to experience and to develop what American culture is like and to get them exposed to the education in the United States,” Lee said. “Usually, most of them are looking to go to universities in the United States, so it helps them get that exposure to classes here. I think the main goal is being able to learn from each other and see the differences of the cultures and just how different things are over there versus here.”
The experience can also be beneficial to students here on campus as they can learn some things about Chinese culture. Students are also expected to help the exchange students and show them around campus.
Principal Amy Deffenbacher hopes that FC students can be a positive witness and also show an appreciation for Chinese culture towards visiting students.
“ It gives us an opportunity to practice our hospitality, to truly live out what we are taught which is to show others the love of Christ,” Deffenbacher said. “It stretches us. We are also building relationships with the schools and agencies in China. They are interested in our resources and how we do things. There will be opportunities for partnership with them in the future.”
For sophomore Leo Li, the trip was a time to learn about American culture and see what it’s like to be an ‘American student’. Unlike others, Leo was given the opportunity to visit the school for 10 days whereas other students only got one day. Li had the chance to come to America earlier, because his mother was already coming.
“I have really enjoyed my time in America,” Li said. “My favorite part so far has been the weather and the people. In Beijing, China it is always really foggy and not very pleasant so I have really like they change. I also really like Ameristudent because they are friendly and always ready to help. In the first days that I was here, they were very helpful with getting me where I was suppose to be.”
Many foreign exchange students come to America so experience a new lifestyle and to see what the United States has to offer. Jackson Qi, ‘19, decided to come to America because his mentor told him how he had incredible time in America.
Qi describes the public schools in China as being hard and exhausting. He notices many similarities and differences between China and America and explains what he wants to do when he finishes high school.
“I wanted to come to America because my mentor told me about it and I wanted to try it on my own,” Qi said. “Some differences include the clothing, lifestyle and also a sense of freedom. In China my parents give me suggestions on what I should do in my life, but in America you can do whatever you want. Also for public school in China there are a lot of exams and students don’t get a lot of sleep they have to stay up late and finish homework. Often time students have to sleep in class and the teachers will tell the parents.
“There are also a few similarities,” Qi continued. “We have a lot of the same subjects in school and I think that is pretty cool because we live on different sides of the world but we are still learning the same things. When I finish high school I want to go to college in America and learn to be a doctor.”
This trip was open not only to the high school but, also to junior high students. Caroline Li, ‘21, is thankful for the opportunity to come to America and even the school. She really enjoys talking with the student she is shadowing, Hannah Villines, ‘21, and learning new things. Li also shares her opinion of AmeriStudent.
“AmeriStudent is very lovely and friendly,” Li said. “I am 14 years old and it is my second time coming to America. Each time I have come I haven’t had any fears, only excitement about learning new things and making new friends. I really like following Hannah around because I like to talk with her about American culture, it is very interesting. I have only been to the school for a short time, but I have really liked it so far. One difference I noticed is in China we just have one classroom that we go to but in America there are many different classrooms that students go to. I have really liked my time in the United States.”
While a majority of foreign exchange students from AmeriStudent come from China, the company looks to expand out to other nations soon. They are currently meeting with students from Ukraine and South Korea as well as Middle Eastern countries.
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