The Foreign Land I Saw
In Mid-December, 2011, when I returned to China from the successful completion of the exchange student’s trip, I can still clearly remember the day of August 21, 2011, after 12 and a half hour’s flight, the excitement of setting foot on Sitka, Alaska.
After I arrived there, the local teachers drove us to our apartment. They made me feel I would not be alone in theUnited States. One day later, I still had not completely got over the jetlag fromBeijingtoAlaska. But I had to sit in a small classroom in the school, beginning the first section of the course already.
The school is located inSitka,Alaska. It is a public school named Mt .Edgecumbe High School. Although the school is not particularly large, it’s larger than many Chinese high schools. Because of the weather disturbance, there is a large indoor stadium. I was here to complete a four-month High School study program. For the first time, I got my curriculum. We had four classes a day, from 9:40 am to 4:00 pm. My courses included digital photography, marine biology, English 2, and thePacific Rim. The courses should have seemed very easy for us if there had been taught in Chinese. But there are language problems for a foreign student to understand the curriculum. I spent nearly two weeks to adapt to the American teachers’ accent. On the other hand, the teachers did have really unique teaching styles. They sometimes did not talk about the book content, but let us be free to play. The atmosphere was also very active in class. Students could speak their minds. The relationship was really close and casual, not as rigid as inChina. American school equipment is very advanced. All teachers use computers and the smart board. The school’s computer room is also high-end configuration. Although the school’s study hall is not too great, you can basically find a book that you want.
As for the country, I have to talk about the American culture. In theU.S., people are very courteous and polite. Usually in a restaurant, people like to whisper instead of talking loudly. Americans believe that it is a sign of respect for other diners. Walking on the road, someone will greet you in a friendly manner, saying “Hello!”, “What’s up?” Therefore, these four months off, every day I have been blessed by the people around me. When you cross the road, the vehicles will always yield to pedestrians, causing a long line of vehicles waiting while the flow of walkers unimpeded. In theU.S., people everywhere reflect the quality of life and the conservation of nature. Living in a country where people are very relaxed and laid-back is great. I enjoyed my stay in theUnited States.