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.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
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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