Taiwanese Student Interviews

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Students from the Stella Matutina Girls’ High School in Taichuns, Taiwan visited Ursuline on the first ever Taiwanese delegation. Their stay lasted 2 weeks and each girl gained valuable, lifelong experiences. Each student was interviewed by a member of the Bear Facts staff.

Tsai-Jung Chiang “Nancy” – “I go with my family to movies…my favorite is Pride & Prejudice,” said Nancy. She loves going to the sea with her club members and mountain climbing. “I like all kinds except K-pop… everyone loves 1Direction, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift,” she said. Her favorite sports include badminton, basketball, volleyball, and swimming. Here in Dallas, she had a football marathon where she and her host family watched three football games in two days. She then went to the Jesuit Cotton Bowl game with her host family and Erin, another student from the delegation.

Yu-Ting Huang “Brenda” – Although it was Brenda’s first time in America, the American neighborhood where she lives in Taiwan protected her from most culture shocks. She was still surprised by our huge portion sizes and constant speeding. In Taiwan, Brenda goes to the movies and shops with her friends, but unlike Dallas, she also goes mountain climbing and visits hot springs. Although she doesn’t have any siblings, Brenda has a big family that all gets together. “We usually go to my great uncles house and we use the mud in the fields to build a stove. We set it on fire and we cook chicken and sweet potatoes inside. It’s really good and it smells great. It’s a traditional cooking method.” You may see Brenda in college when she comes back to the U.S. to study psychology.

Chih-An Kuo “Jean” – Jean, hosted by Chloë Boyter ‘19 and Edie Boyter ’21, is 16 years old, and this is not her first venture into the United States. Last year, Jean traveled to Seattle and Washington D.C. for about three days, but unfortunately, did not learn much about American culture. This delegation to Ursuline has been exciting for her because it has immersed her more into the culture. Jean has been speaking English since the age of four, as her grandfather spoke the language with her. As well as English, Mandarin is Jean’s first language, and she is working on Korean and Spanish as well. A regular school day for Jean consists of four science classes, three history classes, math, and English. Along with her many classes, Jean busies herself by being a part of the volleyball team and the hip-hop dance team. She dances to a mix of American music, such as Drake and Jason Derulo, and to Taiwanese music, such as This Group of People. Jean loved her first Texan rodeo, and out of the food she has tried, the pizza from Serious Pizza was her favorite. In Taiwan, her favorite drink is tapioca milk tea.

Wei-Syuan Li “Mena” – Even though Mina lives in Taiwan and goes to Stella Matutina High School, she loves to shop on the weekends, see movies, and listen to music just like any typical Ursuline Girl. Mina is fifteen years old, and lives with her “annoying brother.” Her family enjoys seeing comedy and romance movies, but she prefers to see horror movies when she goes alone. Mina already speaks English very well, and studies French and Arabic also. Mina loves to swim, play badminton, and dance, and she especially enjoys hip-hop. While listening to Taiwanese artists like Jolin Tsai, Mina also likes Chance the Rapper, The Chainsmokers, Avicii, Taylor Swift, and Alessia Cara. Of course, she loves watching Netflix, and all of the typical tv shows and movies. Mina lived like a true American these past two weeks, and is sad to leave, but she is ready to return home to Taiwan.

Kuan-Wei Li “Christine” – For 16-year-old Christine, having a singing voice that compares to Adele’s is just a regular fact of life. For the rest of us sitting in awe as she sang for us, it was breath taking at the least.
Aside from having amazing vocal talents, Christine participates in sports like baseball, badminton, swimming, and hip hop dancing. She has one older sister who just graduated, and is actually just arrived to go work in California.
For a normal weekend back home, you can find Christine going to hot springs to hang out or going mountain climbing. Many of us would also include Netflix in our weekend plans, but although it’s popular in Taiwan, Christine doesn’t have it at all.
Even though she might not have Netflix, that doesn’t mean she’s not still into pop culture, and her favourite movie is “3 Idiots,” a very famous Indian movie. She’s also into watching talk shows such as American personalities Jimmy Fallon and James Cordin. As far as music goes, she listens to a mix of American and Chinese pop music, including artists like Jolin Tsai along with One Direction, the Chainsmokers, and Avicii.
Back home, Christine participates in a school club with other friends in her delegation about studying international affairs. She doesn’t take any other language besides English but said she does want to learn another language eventually.

Erin Lee “Erin” – Erin Lee is in eleventh grade at Stella Matutina Girl’s High School in Taichung, Taiwan. While our schools may be Sisters, they are very different. Stella Matutina offers a boarding program for students. Erin takes advantage of this program, and stays at her school from Monday through Friday every week. When asked about how she likes it, Erin replied that “it’s nice because [she] ha[s] less distractions than at home.” Erin’s average day consists of waking up at seven in the morning, having porridge for breakfast, and heading to class. After school hours she studies, swims or runs, and then takes a bath. Erin jams out to Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Justin Bieber, but also listens to some Taiwanese music. She loves anime and Disney movies, and these are usually her favorite pass time.
While in Dallas, Erin got to indulge in some of these fun pass times, such as watching the Disney movie Moana with her host family, the Mihalics. Erin also got to try some classic American foods at restaurants like Whataburger and Chik-fil-a, which are quite different than the average rice and meat meals of Taiwan. She was also immersed into some common Texas culture, such as Jesuit’s Friday night lights and hangouts with friends.
At Ursuline, Erin had a blast sitting in on our Chinese classes. “The song you all learned yesterday was one I learned in first grade!” Ugh oh! Otherwise, Erin also loved sitting in on biology class, as she wants to be a surgeon. She also found Theology class very interesting, because they only take the class once a week.
Overall, erin had a great time visiting Texas. While she misses her family very much, she’d rather stay and never go back to her big pile of work!

Han-Yu Tsai “Vicky” – Vicky, a 15 year old Taiwanese delegate came to Ursuline this September. She made it clear that living in Taiwan in vastly different that Texas. She and her younger sister study at the same school, Stella Matotina Girl’s High School in Taichung, Taiwan. At school, she takes English and Spanish, plays volleyball, and is in the international affairs club. When she was in elementary school she was already on a professional volleyball team which she’s continued for 7 years. When she’s not on the volleyball court, you can find Vicky shopping, watching movies like Fast and Furious (her favorite), and going on short trips with friends to Taipei. Like her friends, Vicky listens to popular musicians in America for example, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Chainsmokers, but also K pop. With many similarities in interests, she had a blast staying in Dallas and would love to come back!

Jia-Yun Liu “Lena” – Meet Lena, a tenth-grader visiting Ursuline from Taiwan. She has a brother and a sister, and I 15 years old. At her school, she is involved in debate club, and will begin taking French this coming year. Her favorite movie is The Fault in our Stars, and she enjoys listening to “Firework” by Katy Perry. Also, she loves the song “Soda” by Green Pop, and every time “she [I] is [am] sad, it will cheer her [me] up.” Lena also says, “”I have a dog. She is very small but fat” She is a poodle.” One of the differences she noticed between her Taiwanese classmates and Ursuline students is that she takes the bus for hours to get to school, while she has observed that a lot of Ursuline girls wake up as late as possible to drive for a very short time to school. Outside of school, Lena enjoys playing the bass drums, traveling, and shopping at department stores on the weekends. This is her first time visiting America, and she has enjoyed the different American activities she has experienced.

Yu-Pin Lai “Uping” – Clad in a purple skirt, white shirt and sneakers, the sixteen-year old dresses as comfortable as she feels in Texas. U-Ping’s contagious smile never falters once throughout the interview, not even when asked about her least favorite part of the transition as she simply does not have one. When asked about her hobbies, she happily talks about playing piano, composing music and swimming. Having expressed interest in music, her host family had brought her to the Meyerson Symphony Center for a memorable night of music and bonding with her host sister Madeline Crew. In addition to trying hard in extracurriculars, U-Ping puts the same effort into her school work, especially English and Music. Her 11 years of English class is evident from her accent-free, skilled English. As the interview closes, she makes one final remark. “If given the chance, I would like visit Texas again. I love the tex-mex, interesting school curriculum and people!”

Hsiao-Chi Wang “Kelly” – Kelly, is a student from Taiwan one of Ursuline’s sister schools. She is in the 10th grade and loves to swim, play the piano, and read.
“I was interested to come on this trip when Mrs. Ross and Ms. Chinundet came talked to my school about it.” Kelly said.
This is surprisingly not Kelly’s first time to America, during the summer of 2017 she went to New York City and Boston Massachusetts. But one thing that shocked her about Dallas, is that most people live in houses because in Taiwan most people live in apartments.
There are a couple major differences between Ursuline and Ursuline in Taiwan Kelly says. She lives at school which you can board at. Also, at Ursuline in Taiwan religion classes are taught by nuns instead of teachers.
Kelly’s sister, who is 13 an eighth grader, stays in the boarding school with her and they see their parents every two weeks.
Two similarities between the two countries is that many people in Taiwan have dogs and the music is also the same, a lot of American music is popular in Taiwan. “I love listening to John Mayer and Coldplay.” Said, Kelly.
Kelly also loves how at Ursuline Dallas you can wear sweatshirts because in Taiwan it is too hot and humid to wear layers.
“My favorite subjects are history and biology. Also, I love Korean food.”
One thing Kelly has adjusted to while she has been here are dogs, she does not have one and is scared of them but her host sister Nikka ‘19 has one, so she has had to adjust.
Kelly left the interview saying, “My host family took me to the rodeo and it was so different than anything I have ever seen.”

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