In the words of one student, Jack, “Today, like all days in the wonderful city of Xiamen, was exciting. We’re trying more new foods with each meal, and I think we’re all adjusting well to the busy schedule.” Today, that busy schedule included a guest speaker talking about and also teaching Chinese martial arts. A Xiamen University graduate student came to give the students an introduction to Chinese martial arts. He discussed with the students several central aspects of martial arts, such as proper breathing and staying grounded. The students also practiced some basic tai chi movements, learning about tai chi’s circular motions and how even the seemingly slow, gentle motions of tai chi are able to defend against an attacker. Later on in the program, the students will have further opportunities to learn more about martial arts through another guest lecture and through their interest groups.
Additionally, the students participated in a scavenger hunt today. Accompanied by Xiamen University volunteers, they divided into their teams to locate seven different important places around the campus. They had forty minutes to not only find each place, but also to pose for group photos and answer questions about the places asked by the volunteers waiting for them there. Despite the distances between locations, the first two groups managed to return in under twenty minutes! Each team was able to earn Strive for Excellence points based on their time, photos, and correct answers to questions. As Jack explained, “It was a fun way to explore the campus while building teamwork skills… I think it’s fair to say that we go to bed tired every day, but today especially.”
Finally, today brought the students another step closer to meeting their homestay families, as Dr. Chen and other program staff held a meeting for all of the homestay parents. At the meeting, Dr. Chen described the NSLI-Y programs and its goals. He also provided advice regarding cultural differences such as eating habits.
For Evangelista, one of this year’s chaperons and a NSLI-Y alumna herself, the meeting brought up feelings of nostalgia: “I really miss my host family! Staying with them was one of my favorite parts of NSLI-Y. I wish I could have that experience again.” On July 22, this year’s UD NSLI-Y students will finally meet their own homestay families for the first time. In the meantime, they will continue living together in the dorm on the university’s campus, having fun and working to improve their Chinese until the big day arrives.
Tutoring and Paper-cut