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When teachers told me students spend one to two hours a day to practice their sports instead of doing homework or watching TV, all I could think of was the deadly 800 meter time trial I had to do once a year for gym class in Beijing.I simply could not imagine having to exercise for longer than an hour except for grades.The dating culture among teenagers was also a big culture shock for me.As much as I have heard about how open parents and students are about being in relationships in high school or even middle school, I was still surprised to see teachers and parents being really casual about having young couples hanging around on campus, showing their affections kissing, and holding hands in public.Gratis webcam privat en på en skitten chat ingen kredittkortinformasjon regler om leger som bruker pasienter. So on my thirteenth birthday, when other Chinese girls wished for good grades, a new cell phone, a happy family, or even a boyfriend, I wished to go to high school in America.Before coming to the States, I have heard about how excited people get about sports teams and how heated and spirited football games and baseball games can get among Americans, but I never understood that sports is a culture and a lifestyle.

While I was so used to laughing it off at jokes and references that I could not understand during conversations. Not only was the small boarding school in the suburb of Chicago nothing like High School Musical where everyone sings and dances and live happily ever after, I was overwhelmed with some of the biggest challenges being alone in a foreign country as a teenager.I used to be very against milk and cheese growing up, but they are everywhere in American foods and they eventually grew on me. I was surprised and shocked to learn that many of my American friends wondered if Chinese people still can only ride bikes to work or whether baby girls are murdered when they were born, etc.. As an expat girl, I’m ALWAYS craving any type of Chinese cuisine, especially my grandma’s homemade recipes and any street small eats. When I first arrived in the States, I find interacting with students of my age a little more difficult than I thought since we shared a very different understanding and experience with popular culture.It was very hard and sometimes sad for me to have to explain to them how Beijing is just as big and developed a city as Chicago is. I also missed the days when I could get to anywhere by subway and by feet even. My grandma’s homemade Ja Jiang Mian and Chinese porridge. I find it difficult to jump into conversations about music, popular artists, movies, TV shows, and books that people have read, when my music, TV, and movies background is so different from the local kids.Diverse The first thing a new expat needs to know when moving here is…Chicago is cold cold cold. I was required to learn English as a second language in China but the things they teach in the textbooks were very different from the day to day language I had to pick up in the States. They always love to talk about their sports teams, the weather, and politics.It doesn’t matter if you are from the North-Est of China where everything practically freezes all year long or a typical four-season city like Beijing, the windy city never disappoints in bringing up the heavy snow and super strong wind. Especially as a teenager, in order to communicate with the peers fluently, it was all about the slangs and references to pop culture. I felt while understanding the language was challenging at first, understanding pop culture was a huge barrier between expats and local students especially when I came to the States as a teenager. Being an expat (Have you ever felt that you are different just because you are an expatriate? ): Less and less due to the large amount of international college students I am surrounded by, but yes sometimes being an expat in a big city can be scary since it can be dangerous when people can tell you are not from around the area in some neighborhoods.

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