The Journey Thus Far

Andrea Smiling

It’s a long flight from China to Texas. Depending on where IN China you are flying from, some estimates put the trip at 23 hours of non-stop flight. When Andrea arrived at Austin Bergstrom International Airport, signs of travel fatigue were anything but noticeable as she beamed at her new host family. Despite her cultural differences and language barrier, Andrea now has an exciting opportunity to experience a new world in the United States of America. She will afford the chance to learn about American culture, Texas culture, and improve her English language skills as she fully immerses herself in the American academic system.

One interesting aspect of traveling is seeing and learning about the holidays that are celebrated in comparison to your own. Yifei has been with her host-family in Columbia, Missouri since August of 2015 and has already significantly immersed herself. In mid-July, the Chinese celebrate the “Hungry Ghost Festival” where it is customary to float river lanterns to remember those who have died. Compared with the American holiday of Halloween there are obviously some differences, however, it still afforded a fun opportunity for Yifei to adorn an absolutely stellar witch costume.

Halloween with Host Sister & Host Cousin

Student Ambassador Exchange promotes and supports any and all students interested in participating in our programs of cultural exchange. With 2015 coming to an end, Andrea and Yifei have nearly six months behind them, with another exciting 6 months ahead. New Years, Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day, so many more interesting opportunities that will undoubtedly give them a broader perspective on the world.

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