NSLI-Y Student Writings: Culture Journals

It’s already been half way through for the NSLI-Y program in China. As part of the curriculum, students wrote journals to reflect their thinkings on China, its culture, their host families and anything else that they found intriguing. This time, they got to write in English. We selected some essays.

Nicola D.: “When we first moved into the host families, I didn’t have any clue how much my family would end up teaching me about Chinese culture….Chinese calligraphy….Beijing Opera…Chinese Chess….” [Read more]

Delmar T.: “I think that this may be the experience where I look back upon life, old, and in a rocking chair, and I say: “I remember, back when I turned 16, I was in China, where I spent 6 weeks, and that experience…that experience, shaped my life.”  ” [Read more]

Eric H.:” ShanHai is still a developing city, and is almost there. It has all its old parts and still has all of its roots and maintains all of its history, but it is rapidly changing…” [Read more]

Johanna N.:“…Not only have I had to adjust to the Chinese culture, but I’ve also had to adjust to being an only child….I got to see not only how average Chinese people live, but also how the village people live…” [Read more]

Clare C.: “I appreciate how China preserves their pagodas and temples from long ago, while also trying to update their way of living…Having a change in living style has just made me appreciate the comforts of my own home that much more…” [Read more]

Claire L.: “Once I’m done eating its usually time to head down to my bus stop, which is only about a block away from my host family’s apartment. This may sound strange, but one thing I enjoy about staying with my host family is riding the bus to school, and I don’t really know why- perhaps this simple routine I share with all the locals on the bus makes me realize that I am actually in China right now, or maybe its just my lack of experience with public transportation back home that makes this 15 minute ride to school so exciting.” [Read more]

Julia T.: “Although I know a lot of Chinese already, I have come to realize that living in China comprises so much more than just learning the language and being able to communicate. The inherent complexities and idiosyncrasies of daily life never cease to fill me with a sense of curiosity and eagerness to learn and to better understand.” [Read more]

Mary Kate D.:  “…did you know that on your birthday it is required to eat noodles because they symbolize long life? It is also a good thing to be short because that means that you are going to live longer because your brain is closer to your heart (or so my host sister says). Chinese culture is so interesting and intriguing, living here for only six weeks is not going to be enough!” [Read more]

Lauren L.: “…this trip has truly taught me to find joy and value in the little things…has definitely put me outside of my comfort zone on almost a daily basis…Being in Shanghai has helped me to learn so much more about Chinese culture and appreciate their lifestyle, but it has also shown me what I used to take for granted in America. I feel that now I will be so, so much more grateful when I return home in August.” [Read more]

Zach R.: “Shanghai, in my opinion, is stuck between the past and the future… Also, I have noticed that China is, in general, not as Communist as people believe it to be in the United States. In fact, I could argue (but probably not win) that the Chinese people are more Capitalist than Americans. ” [Read more]

TommyLee E.:“I have seen myself grow not only in Chinese comprehension and speaking ability but also as an independent individual. ” [Read more]

Julie N.: “The group outings, homestay, and experiencing the city life has given me the opportunity to understand an entirely different culture. Even though I live in New York City, I am still amazed by Shanghai’s tremendous modernization.” [Read more] 

Lawan L.: “It’s been almost two weeks since I arrived at my host family’s house and it seems like I’m already a part of the family…They are all very open minded and respectful which makes me feel at ease.” [Read more]

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your experience so far in Shanghai. I have enjoyed reading them and learning from them. Keep writing- In English and Chinese! You are doing great.

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