By Eveline Ho
Students from Chengdu, China visited Arlington High on January 24th. This event was the result of a collaboration of the two parties involved in China and Ms. Ritz at AHS. The mandarin students led the 32 visitors around for a full school day to learn about what Americans study and shed some light on our culture.
The program helps “promote an understanding between two very different cultures”, notes Ms. Yuen, the Mandarin teacher at Arlington High. The foreign exchange students are a part of the Chengdu Foreign Language School. They are the only school who are permitted to tour AHS due to the large quantity of students. They spend their vacation to come to America.
They are quite surprised when they find many differences between our schools.
“An American’s student life is more relaxing and follows their heart because they choose the courses that they’d like, but in China, we can’t actually choose the courses that we like. We must learn all the courses, nine courses a day… When I saw you guys playing the violin, I was really surprised because we don’t have these kinds of classes in China,” said Jane Kan, a Chinese foreign exchange student.
“I think that the biggest difference between China and America is that the people here have more freedom. We have to follow teachers, parents, and do homework,” voiced a male student, Sherlock Li.
These students were quite happy to see the different foods in the cafeteria, the free time in Old Hall, and the many different classes here.
The freedom of speech in America is often taken for granted. These foreign exchange students greatly value their time in America, especially seeing the ability of students here expressing what they feel in public.
“You can’t always live in one atmosphere; you have to change and see the world. Because China and America have a lot of differences, it is important to see where the differences are from,” said Kan.
Ruby Xu, a supervisor for the exchange students, shared, “I think now we must get to know the culture of the East and the West due the diversity of the world.”
This program is expected to continue. Students from China will visit every two years.