Chinese students begin their first semester abroad


Chinese student junior Maggie Huang smiles for the camera as she takes a tour of the school. The Chinese students began their first official day of class on Jan 24.

Grace Kim, Online Chief

The first official day of classes has come and gone for the four Chinese transfer students, Xiaozhou “William” Du, Luyuan “Iris” Jin, Jinyu “Maggie” Huang, and Yi Yang.

On Jan. 24, the four participated in their normally scheduled classes and began their study abroad experience.

According to Coordinator of International Student Programs and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor Sandi Seiler, the students celebrated the Chinese New Year with a special dinner with their host families on Jan. 23 at freshman Bethany Toy’s house and had an overall successful start to their school year.

“From my perspective, everything went well,” Seiler said.  During their first year, all new international students will have Seiler for advisory.  They will also take her English for International Students (EIS) class in place of their foreign language class until they can achieve a certain score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Seiler hosts Maggie.  The other students, William, Iris, and Yi are hosted by math teacher Susan Kraft, Toy, and Nurse Laura Frank respectively.

“I’ve always been interested in Asian culture,” Kraft said.  “I’ve been to Japan, my husband goes to Asia, and my parents had visited where [William] was from.”

According to Kraft, the experience thus far has been “wonderful” and she has been “learning from [William]” and hopes to learn more about the Chinese culture.

“He’s very helpful.  His English is good and he’s good with computers and he likes sports.  We watched the Ravens game together.  [He’s] interested in what we’re interested in, and he likes to try new things.  He wants to be here and he wants to experience everything.  He’s very good with technology, and my sons have that in common [with him],” Kraft said.

“[My family and I] thought it would be a good experience.  It’s something we wanted to do and we would love to learn some things also.  My eleven year old was very excited and he wanted to do it, too,” Nurse Laura Frank said.

A challenge, Frank said, is that “I want to help him but I can’t sometimes because there’s that language barrier.”

Despite this, Frank said “[The experience so far is] wonderful, we have been doing very well.  Yi is comfortable at my house.  He’s settled in and he’s very polite and he’s very fun.  He’s happy and we’ve enjoyed it tremendously.  We laugh a lot, and we do have fun.”

Grace Kim is the Online Chief for The Patriot and

To read the previous news piece previewing the arrival of the Chinese transfer students, click here.  For introductory interviews of the Chinese students, check out the video to your right.