Get with the program

Half way around the world sophomore Quindain Liu explores America

By Shane Carver

People buzzing all around you, friends exchanging hugs, teachers yelling directions to various classes…. Sound familiar? Imagine the first day of school in a new country.

That’s what it was like for sophomore Quindain Liu. Crazy, fast, and wonderfully new.

“The first day was alright,” Liu said. “I really had the most problem with new classes. Being able to listen and understand what the teachers wanted.”

Liu is currently staying with none other that NAHS’ own freshman English teacher, Lorie Hollis. Having studied Asian history and going through a cultural exchange program where she was immersed in Chinese culture, Hollis knew exactly what to expect.

“I knew that our cultures are worlds apart,” Hollis said. “She [Quindain] is having to learn self-confidence, and tolerance. Because she is so quiet and reserved, she’s really being brought out of her shell by the other kids.”

To get placed in America, Liu went through OCEAN (Organization for Cultural Exchange Among Nations). OCEAN is a non-profit organization that places students from countries like Brazil, China, Germany, Mexico, and Spain in volunteer host families throughout the U.S.

On August 8 Lui arrived at Phoenix, Arizona for a two-day orientation, where they were told the rules and things they would have the opportunity to do.

“We stayed in a very nice hotel in Phoenix,” Liu said. “While there we got to taste American food which was very different from Chinese food. We took intensive training and were told what we were and were not allowed to do.”

Liu will be staying here until August of 2013 and looks forward to trying new things and making friends. According to Hollis, Quindain hopes to stay for another year.

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