Our two year Chinese exchange student adventure is over. Qi Qi is on his way home.

He is leaving Fort Myers a different person than when he arrived. His education at Canterbury included a recent week-long trip to North Carolina for an Outward Bound trip. That’s where he learned how to rock climb and carry his own pack while he walked for miles through mountainous terrain. I’m sure that’s what it felt like being in a new country.

After hosting two exchange students, we have climbed our own mountain as well. It’s been rewarding and challenging in many ways. The rewarding parts have included watching Joanna & Qi Qi succeed in so many ways in their new environment. In one year, Qi Qi was a top tennis player, math club participant, and earned exceptional grades. Joanna, who didn’t know how to play tennis when she arrived, made the tennis team this year. We have also learned so much about Chinese culture that we didn’t know before.

The challenging parts are logistical – how to get three teens organized and where they are supposed to be. There are cultural differences as well. Many of the students (like American teens) like to stay in their rooms. They have had to learn how to do more self-reliant tasks like laundry and making cereal or sandwiches. But both of our exchange students have been very kind and polite and we are glad we had the chance to get to know them.

More students will arrive in August and Qi Qi still needs a host family. He is a wonderful young man. The stipend has increased for next year, which will make it easier to provide for these students. Meg Hawthorne, their residential coordinator, is a tremendous help in making sure everything runs smoothly. If you are interested in hosting a student or need more information, contact Meg Hawthorne at 917-705-6318.


2 Comments Post your own or leave a trackback: Trackback URL

  1. Chaffee says:

    very fun to read updates… that was a very fast 2 years … it seemed like they just arrived.. amazing the amount of challenges and experiences everyone has had. This is such a brilliant idea I hope many more family’s open their homes and hearts to this adventure.

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