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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016