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Short Term Enrichment Program Participant Learns About Cultural Exchange

Short Term Enrichment Program CHI’s Short Term Enrichment Program (STEP) allows students to expand their horizons and get a taste of a different culture.  Past participant Tianyu Wang, from China, recently spent one month living and interning in the U.S.  Tianyu, who went by the name Andy while here, helped out at Woodcrest Preschool in Newbury Park, CA.  Andy also lived with the Haglund family and created a wonderful bond during his time here.

All CHI programs are a true cultural exchange.  The first days in a new country can be a bit challenging.  When Andy arrived he unfortunately caught a bad cold. His throat was sore and he was in a lot of pain.  His host mom Sandra tried to give him something cool for his throat.  She offered him ice cream and popsicles but he rejected these items.  Sandra was confused at first and even reached out to CHI staff to try to understand why Andy was refusing the help she was offering. One CHI staff member that was also Chinese was able to explain that eating and drinking cold items while sick is considered bad in China.  All he wanted was porridge.  Once Sandra understood this cultural difference, she was able to offer something that helped.

Andy recovered quickly and ended up having an amazing experience.  He loved Woodcrest Preschool and had such a good time sharing his culture with the kids. He also made a lot of friends and enjoyed spending time with his host parents.  Andy has returned home now but still keeps in touch by sending photos and e-mails.  When he writes he says how much he misses life in America.

We are grateful to both Andy and Sandra for sharing their cultural exchange experience.  Each year participants like Andy are able to learn about American culture by spending time at local businesses and living with host families to obtain an immersive, unmatched cultural experience.

Short Term Enrichment Program

Learn more about CHI’s Short Term Enrichment Program

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