Overall, I am really enjoying my time here. The host family has been very gracious and I am starting to get accustomed to their culture. There have definitely been some challenges: - The... Phillip Levos
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Challenges & successes of immersion in Chinese life
Submitted by Phillip Levos - Nebraska United States | September 30, 2016
Overall, I am really enjoying my time here. The host family has been very gracious and I am starting to get accustomed to their culture. There have definitely been some challenges:
- The language barrier is pretty difficult. My host mom knows a decent amount of English but no one else speaks any. Even with taking a year of Mandarin and learning about the Chinese culture before I left, I clearly only scratched the surface!
- Another thing that has been rather difficult for me is how upfront the Chinese are about their expectations. They really want to know what I want from my time here and they will do everything they can to satisfy me even when they have done so much already. Growing up, I have always worked to give back and to help out whenever I can, which I have made sure to do here.
Those have been the only real obstacles I have been faced with thus far. It's alright though, because I knew that coming into the program that it would be hard. Greenheart Travel did a really good job preparing me for that with all their correspondence and pre-departure stuff.
By living with a family, I have come to appreciate the culture and understand some of the differences for why they do what they do. They really want me to experience their culture in as many ways as possible. I am learning a lot and having a good time! Teaching has also been good, although I have struggled a bit to keep it both educational and entertaining but it's working out! Overall, a very great learning experience & opportunity to be immersed in Chinese life.