New students join from China

Taylor Kenyon

Zhengting Lu (Maxim), Rongxue Sui (Sheri), and Jiachum Zhang (Acreiko), three Chinese exchange students, have already interspersed themselves among the junior class at Benilde- St. Margaret’s. Over 7,000 miles from home, they all share similar first impressions of BSM and the United States.

After only a few weeks here, all three exchange students noticed differences between their school in China and BSM. “BSM is better” compared to her school in China because “there is more freeedom,” said Acreiko. Maxim appreciates the freedom to choose which classes he takes because he is not allowed to do so at his school in China. The main focus for many Chinese students “study, study, study,” said Sheri, which leaves little time for the fun she enjoys here.

All three are struggling to communicate with their peers; Sheri often uses a translator to help her understand and communicate with others. However, they have found that the teachers at BSM are all friendly, patient, and more than willing to help them succeed in the classroom. All three students have found that the BSM faculty is very friendly and feel grateful for all of the help they have provided.

Outside of the BSM school walls, the exchange students have engaged in many American activities with their host families, including a visit to the Minnesota State Fair: an event that is unlike anything in China, said Acreiko. Sheri spent most of her time at the fair on the amusement rides.

“[The fair] was great. I ate a lot,” said Maxim, who indulged in foods such as hot dogs and cheesy curly fries, which are a few of his many favorite American foods.

Both Acreiko and Sheri have also developed a liking for American food. Acreiko can usually be spotted at lunch enjoying a sandwich, while Sheri prefers to eat chicken balls or noodles.

All three are very excited for the upcoming homecoming activities. Acreiko is especially excited for the homecoming dance. “There are not any school dances in China,” said Acreiko. Sheri also expressed the same enthusiasm about the dance.

Collectively Maxim, Sheri, and Acreiko’s first weeks here at BSM have been a positive experience and they are all expecting to return to the Red Knight community next year.