After 7,602 miles and an unexpected delay in New York, our friends Mao and Niu arrived to the shores of our island from Jiangsu, China. Thanks to the Chinese exchange program, which allows students from China to come explore and learn about our day-to-day school life, these students were able to spend a day at Cape Hatteras Secondary. Many things are different when comparing our two school systems. In China these students live in their school and see family once a week. It is much more strict and very difficult for them. Also, their school meals are different; instead of the traditional school foods found in America, they’ll have local foods such as rice and spring rolls. Unlike our small school, they attend a school with 2,000 students. After a day of exploring the island, our friends continued on their journey. Not only did they visit Cape Hatteras, but they were most eager to visit New York city and continue on to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia as well. They planned to see many famous American landmarks on their journey.
The Shoemaker family hosted our visitors for the duration of their stay on the island. “The experience of having strangers come stay with us was very interesting and obviously different,” claims Rubie Shoemaker. “We learned so much and became so much more appreciative of everything we have.” As far as hosting our visitors Rubie expresses how much she and her family enjoyed the experience and would be happy to do it again. If given the opportunity to travel herself as an exchange student, Rubie says, “it would be an amazing opportunity, but it would all depend on the circumstances.” With the exchange student program we hope to have many more visitors like Mao and Niu with whom we can share our lives and culture.
Editor’s Note: The Island Free Press is delighted to be working with journalism students and writers from CHSS, and will be posting their work in our Commentary & Guest Columns page as they continue to grow into exceptional journalists.