By Kelsey Kirkendall
Originally Published: October 2, 2014
This year, Temple has welcomed foreign exchange students from several different countries including Taiwan, Germany, and China. These students come to strengthen their English and learn more about the American culture.
One of these students is 16-year-old Yifan Lyu, who goes by Jeremy. He is from Jinan, China the capital of Shandong province in eastern China. Jinan is an industrial city and has a population of three million.
A major difference that Jeremy has noticed between China and the US is their education systems. “America has a better educational system. I can relax better and there isn’t as much pressure as there is in China.” He also has enjoyed math classes at Temple because it is an easy subject for him.
In his free time, Jeremy enjoys playing basketball, listening to music, and watching movies. While his favorite food in China was dumplings, in the United States he has fallen in love with pizza. He has also joined Temple’s soccer team. “I got to play in my first game,” he said with a smile.
Jeremy says that his favorite time of the day is evening. “In the morning you always feel sleepy, and then after lunch you are sleepy. In the evenings you are more awake, and can do things.”
His favorite holiday is the Spring Festival, also known as Chinese New Year. It is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month, and is a major holiday in China. “My family and I go to a restaurant to celebrate. There are fireworks and lanterns and it is always very beautiful.”
Another exchange student, Yu-ching Yin who goes by Nicole, also enjoys this holiday. In her family they give red paper envelopes filled with money to celebrate the New Year. These are supposed to bring good luck and are a part of the holiday that many teens look forward to.
Nicole is 16 and is from Tao-Yuan, Taiwan. Tao-Yuan is one of Taiwan’s major political and industrial centers and is located in the northern part of the country. It has about 380,000 people.
The major difference that Nicole has noticed is the changing of classes. In Taiwan students don’t do this and at first it took her awhile to get used to the dozens of students crammed into the halls. However, it didn’t take her long to adjust to her math classes. “They are really easy here,” she says.
Nicole likes to relax by listening to music. She also enjoys fried rice, although she has grown to like pizza during her time in the USA. When going shopping, her favorite piece of clothing tends to be shoes.
“I like the people here,” she said when asked what her favorite thing about school in the states was. She has made friends with several of the other foreign exchange students and can be seen giggling with them in the hallway.
Temple’s hope is that these students form lasting friendships along with the things that they learn in the classroom; friendships that will survive long after their school year is over.