Morenci's exchange students: Crystal Fung 2012.12.31

Written by David Green.

Crystal Fung of Hong Kong knows that she needs to improve her English speaking skills in order to find her place in the global culture. That—along with an interest in American culture—is what pushed her to become an exchange student.

Crystal is hoping to find a place in a Morenci home while she attends school here, but so far she's still living nearby with the exchange program representative while enrolled at Morenci Area High School.

It didn't take long to see differences in the American education system compared to Hong Kong. For one thing, a classroom doesn't belong to the teacher in her school. The students stay in the same room all day and it's the teachers that move from one to another. 

Hong Kong students aren't stuck in their seats all day, however. After two blocks of classes, students take a 20-minute break. After another two classes, there's an hour lunch period. Crystal and her friends generally eat at nearby shopping mall. Hong Kong isn't a country; it's a city of about 7 million people so it's not unusual for a mall to be close by.

With the 20-minute recesses and the long lunch period, she says it's a lot easier to make friends and get to know a lot of students, even in a big school.

Crystal said that school is going well for her here other than the language challenge, and that makes English class the toughest.

The American diet is a lot different from what she's accustomed to, but she's quite familiar with Western food. Hong Kong is an international financial center and there are cultural influences from many countries.

She's living in a rural location now which means traveling everywhere by car. She's accustomed to getting around on her own by bus, ferry and the subway.

She has two brothers back in Hong Kong. Her mother works at home and her father is a manager at an ink company.

When she returns home next year, Crystal will have one more year of high school before attending college. She's considering a career in graphic art and design.

Before returning, she hopes to take a trip to New York City with other students in the exchange program. Also, a friend in California wants her to visit.

There's a big change coming soon when winter weather moves in.

"I've never seen snow," she said.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017