May 15, 2013

Exchanging cultures

By Michael Johnson, Editor

Before the start of the Washburn School year, Tzu-tsen “Alice” Chen had every reason to believe she’d be spending her junior year at an American high school somewhere in Florida. At least that’s what she asked for. It turns out she ended up being selected to go to North Dakota. “Where is North Dakota?!” she asked herself. A quick internet search revealed to her that it was not near Florida and, in fact, was not a place you wear swimsuits year round. Alice comes from Taiwan, where it rarely ever drops below 70 degrees. So when she saw the temperatures in North Dakota, she was a bit shocked. “It’s so cold,” she said. The idea of being an exchange student in America was not something she was ever very excited about. It was her parents that wanted to give her an opportunity to become fluent in English and learn about the American culture.

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