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My American Experience: Zena Lin, China

This summer, CHI invited its USA Work & Travel participants to take part in a contest to help show off their program spirit. Participants were asked to submit an essay, video or photo slideshow that best demonstrated their personal ‘American Experience’.  In their own words and images, here is what this year’s CHI USA Work & Travel alumni have experienced during their summer in America.

Essay by Zena Lin, China, worked in Virginia Beach, VA

Everything becomes so different from my first step on American land, my mind, my life is changing in another way. I don’t know how American people cross the street before, but now, I know that. I eat hot dog, break, milk everyday but not rice. On my first day, our landlord gave us a pretty good expression, he told us that we will have different kind of activities during this summer holiday, we will enjoy a good time during these four month. We all very excited about it. So the first mooring, we can’t help to wake up to hand out. So, accident happens, hahaha, we got lost, we can’t find our way home, we also forgot our home’s address, but fortunately, we have took photo about every house, everything when we out of our door, so we can find our home from the photo. At that moment, we are so love the people who like taking photo so much.

The building here are so so so beautiful, fantasy, most of them look like in the movies, like the dream I had when I was a child. I even can’t believe that I am in the real word as the building, the furniture and everything here are really really like a dream word, I am sorry that everything is so good more than my words.

The second day, our landlord drove us to the church, he had heard that there was a party for J-1 student, so we also very excited to go to the church, I am not familiar with the Church , but it was a little bit different from China, It is more lively, maybe because come many so much J-1 student.

From here, our mind change again, that American really nice! We made a local friend here—- Emily. She became  as our best friend here, she is so cute, so funny and so friendly, easygoing, outgoing  and naughty, her behaviors ,her expression, always made us laugh, She made face, act as a gorilla, she don’t care her  image, just bring us happy……So ridiculous did she look that everybody burst out laughing etc~~~,every one of us like her so much, its our luck to made a friend with such a good girl.

My American Experience: Zena Lin, China 1
Emily is in black

From then on, we contact with each other each week, we hang out together, have some food together, share our own country’s culture and our belief etc. Every week, we can have a good time with each other.

My American Experience: Zena Lin, China 2

We also take part in the USA Independent Day party with local student here, we play games like water polo, dancing , ask and answer , we enjoyed hotdogs, chips, peisi , cookies etc, after that ,we go to the beach together, we care about each other, really a big family, we saw the special show act by American, we saw fireworks, we meet new friends from Turkey, Thailant, Russia. The beach at that night were full of people, the street were crowed, the people here were so crazy, they express their patriotic feeling in different ways,such as chorus calling “USA”,the whole scene is heart-stirring.

My American Experience: Zena Lin, China 3

My American Experience: Zena Lin, China 4

(Independent day big big party )

Our new landlord, is a famous kind old man here, he help about hundreds student each year. Not to say, we also received his help too. He make our life more colorful after we moved out from the front landlord. He took us to many many places ,take us to the super market ,to the countryside where are very very beautiful ,we visited at his daughter’s house, he serve us a good American meal, like below, he showed us many interesting things ,he told us his experience when he was young ,all of that made us experience more that in school, we all appreciate him so much ,everything …… Now, he have gong to travel in Kazakhastan, he will arrive on 16th September, we all miss him so much.

My American Experience: Zena Lin, China 5

Our roommate, Tim, a handsome middle age man, he also very kind of us, he would like to take us to the shop, he show us how to take the trash can out when he leave…….

Our another two Russia friend, so sweet they are and optimistic they are, like them so much, we have “Russia day “and “Chinese day” in our house, we made dinner in Russia way and China way, no so different ,but we all enjoy of each other’s  country food!

My American Experience: Zena Lin, China 6

My American Experience: Zena Lin, China 7

Everything go in a good way, we feel so lucky and so excited to meet the people here and live here, I  think I will miss here very much when I back home.

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