For Alan Chan, junior, who joins us via AFS from Hong Kong, English is a third language. Though he speaks Mandarin at home, his first language is actually Spanish, as he spent the first years of his life in Chile.
“I still have family there, and I miss them,” Chan said. Now, Chan’s global family includes his host family, the Muirheads, and he is adapting to life in Shorewood.
So far, the biggest transition for Chan has been education.“Here, the teachers have relationships with students,” Chan said. “They are much friendlier and much nicer than in Hong Kong.”
In Hong Kong, his school day lasts much longer, and students at his school stay in class until 6:00-7:00 at night. If American students feel like there is too much weight put on standardized testing, Chan assures us that it is nothing compared to schools in Hong Kong
“There was also much more emphasis on our version of the ACT. We are taught to be prepared for the test and it is very competitive,” Chan said.
Here, Chan’s favorite class is physics and he also enjoys the opportunities to participate in clubs and sports, particularly soccer, which were not available at home.
The most American things that Chan has done so far are mowing the lawn and following professional sports.
By Sydney Widell