Hanqing, known locally as Arthur, was nominated by his Local Representative, Hope Egolf. Arthur is from China and has been participating in Nacel Open Door (NOD)’s Private School Program since the fall of 2020. He goes to school in Allentown, Pennsylvania and has lived with the same host family for his entire program. Hope interviewed Arthur to provide insights into his experiences in the U.S.A.
Q: Please tell me about your experience being a student in America.
Arthur: Being a student in America is pretty good. It was difficult in the beginning, but I was able to catch on quickly. I like the teachers here. I especially like the Christmas and Thanksgiving activities at school.
Q: What are some of the key things you’ve learned?
Arthur: A very important thing is to ask the teacher a question or ask for help. Teachers are always willing to help if you ask them. Another key is to complete all your homework assignments on time, because that is a very important part of your grade.
Q: What has surprised you about living and studying in the U.S.?
Arthur: It surprised me how kind the teachers are. They are not rigid here, they want to be more like a friend. The food here was also a surprise, because everything is super-sized. I like when people decorate their house and yard for the holidays.
Q: How has the experience of living with a host family impacted you?
Arthur: My host family has a lot of family members and they have many parties for birthdays and holidays. It made me realize how important family ties are. When we travel up to their cabin, it has made me realize how magical nature is.
Q: What is different about your U.S. school compared to home?
- My school in the U.S. finishes early in the day. School in China goes until 6-8pm.
- Students here can drive to school by themselves (but not while on this program).
- The school here has many clubs to join.
Q: What would you tell someone who was considering studying abroad?
Arthur: Studying abroad is not as simple as it seems. It can be difficult to overcome homesickness and feeling alone. You should really think about it a lot before you decide to do it. If you study here for 4 years of high school, you do not need to take the TOEFL test!
Thank you for sharing your insights, Arthur, and thank you for being one of NOD’s Stars!