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American Language & Culture Academy
Trine University hosted 28 Chinese middle and high school students during the Summer American Language and Culture Academy this month.
Trine welcomes young Chinese visitors to campus
ANGOLA, Ind. – In an effort to continue building relations with schools in China, Trine University hosted 28 Chinese middle and high school students during the Summer American Language and Culture Academy this month.
“This experience gave Chinese students an inside look at our culture. For all of them it was their first time in the United States, and we wanted to make sure they made memories to last a lifetime while they were here,” said John Shannon, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs at Trine and founder of the program. “The students had a great time. The community was so kind and gracious to them, and they were so impressed with the university, local businesses, restaurants and more. We just cannot thank the community enough for their support.”
In addition to taking English reading, writing and communication classes on campus, students traveled to local sites and events throughout the region. Students noted distinct differences between American and Chinese cultures. Many students’ families live in high-rise apartment buildings in China, while most American homes are “big and spacious,” as one student wrote in a memory book sent home with each guest.
“After about a 25-hour tour, we reached Trine University at last,” said Zhu “Jenny” Wen. “To my surprise there are not any fences around the campus at all, which is impossible in China. Although it is not big, it is very tidy and beautiful.”
The university organized trips so that students could get a feel for American culture. They visited local fire and police departments, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, the LaGrange County 4-H Fair, Shipshewana, Pokagon State Park and Chicago.
While watching buffalo graze at Wild Winds, Tang “Summer” Xinghoa noted the “sky was blue and the clouds were white. I love this place best.”
They also watched a Tin Caps baseball game at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne. For all of the students, it was their first time at a ball park.
“The game is so good, and the people are so fevered,” wrote Wang “Tom” Ziheng. “We bought many gifts, like baseball bats and baseball caps. Oh! Baseball is so cool.”
Shannon and his family hosted a pool party for the students at his home one evening. Shannon’s wife, Grace, made rice and served a Chinese meal for the guests, which they enjoyed immensely.”
“This is an unforgettable experience for all of us. It is difficult for us to express our thanks and our words for the American teachers’ help,” Zhu “Jenny” Wen wrote in the memory book. “We have learned a lot, covering spoken English, how to understand a passage and how to write. Now, our students are no longer afraid of speaking English in public. I hope more students will come here next year.”
To read about a homestay experience, click here.
To share your news, contact Trine University communication specialist Lindsay Winslow Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.