Reflection from a NSLI-Y China Student


                                                                                                                                                                                                                         JULY 12, 2012


At first it's just a word here or there. Next it's a greeting in the morning, a 'hello' or a 'Ni hao' in this case. Then you start progressing further, expressing thanks for all wonderful food you've been served and greeting, then thanking, those who help you along the way to language proficiency.

Suffice it to say, our first week in China and Zhuhai has been fantastic. We've gotten to know our host families and we're settling into the habit of classes every day, as well as coming to terms with the fact that we're spending our summer in school. We're also beginning to explore, we're trying out the bus routes and attempting to not get lost too often.

For all of us, the experience of a new sibling has been exciting. We've begun bonding with them in a way that will lead to ties with China far into the future. For only children like me, learning to live with a sibling (a five year old in my case) has been an interesting ride. But judging by the joyful expressions on everyone's faces at the opening ceremony, it's been a ride enjoyed by all.

As we look into the future, I know that I'm not the only one who is extremely excited about the activities we will be participating in, the people we'll be meeting and the new words that we will learn every day. I'm sure that as our stay progresses, we might even get used to the stares and whispers of the single word we recognize, Mei guo ren (Americans) that follows us everywhere.