It’s July 10th today, the moving day. Students finally got to meet their home stay families! They have been wondering for a long time before this moment: what do typical Shanghaier families look like? What do they wear? What do they eat? How about their living conditions? How do they commute from one place to another? … They were eager to find out the differences and get to know each other.
Under Ms. Zhang’s instruction, students have packed their belongings yesterday. They moved all their luggages downstairs and waited in the lobby for the host families to come, anxiously.
At 9:00 am, it was already crowded in the Multipurpose room on the first floor of the Dorm building. There were more than eighty people in the room with two to three members from each family. Ms. Lu Zhang, local NSLI-Y coordinator, and Prof. Xiujuan Wang, student life coordinator, introduced the program and students to the host families, and talked about the guidelines, rules and regulations for home stay activities. After the briefing session, students walked into the room to meet the host families. They introduced themselves in Chinese! Then they found their host families, which has been assigned previously. It was the first time that they met the families and finally they got to use what they learned in class to greet people in Chinese: it is very nice meeting you (hen gao xing ren shi ni men)!
All thirty homestay families are either those of ECNU faculty or staffs, ECNU’s affiliated high school teachers, or local mid-class professionals who live close to ECNU campus. Most of them have beyond average living conditions, own family cars and speak good English. A typical family usually includes two parents and one middle- or high- school aged child. They are very warmhearted, open-minded and friendly to foreigners. They are enthusiastic in culture exchanges and look avidly for opportunities for their children to get to know other people and to explore outside world. Among this year’s thirty families, quite a few families have been providing homestay accommodation for NSLI-Y students in the past. Students all felt that they were very welcomed. Let’s hope that they will have good time with their host families in the next two weeks.