Michael Fu adjusts to life in the United States
This school year many new students of numerous backgrounds and nationalities joined the FC community. Among these various faces and stories is sophomore Fu Ti-Lin, known by his American name, Michael Fu , a foreign exchange student from Taiwan. His journey to the US and adaption to cultural life came with many challenges which he overcame and continues to do so.
Ti-Lin lived in the town of Taipei which is located in Northern Taiwan. He lived with his parents, Grandmother and older sister, Jane Fu who previously attended FC. His father opened and ran a pharmacy. Ti-Lin decided to transfer to the US in an effort to pursue greater knowledge through a better educational system.
Ti-Lin?s aunt, Sheuehua Leufuh, says that her Nephew has overcome many of his challenges through the last few years he has spent in the US. She also believes he enjoys receiving education from America and FC in general.
“I think the most challenging thing for him is language issues and adopting American culture,” Leufuh said. “However, after the last two years in the US I feel that he seems to be overcoming this smoothly. I think he likes to study in America very much. He enjoys going to FC daily.”
Ti- Lin moved from Taiwan to the US approximately two years ago and came to live with his aunt and uncle. Although Michael personally found leaving his family and friends bearable, he still misses his home town. He originally attended a private school called South Western Academy around the Los Angeles area. However, he found that there was not enough cultural diversity within the particular school system and transferred to FC.
It was a challenge for Ti-Lin to build his vocabulary and language skills. Ti-Lin also has struggled with finding transportation to and from school which has been an ongoing challenge.
“I have some issues because English is my second language,” Ti-Lin said. “I knew some English already, but my vocabulary was pretty weak. I also have to deal with transportation from home to school which can be difficult at times.”
Ti-Lins’s favorite class in school so far is yearbook. He found yearbook to be very different from the classes he has previously taken in Taiwan. Although Ti-Lin does not know what field he will pursue after high school, he suspects that it will involve chemistry and other sciences.
Science, Chinese and Bible teacher, Dan Harris says that he believes Ti-Lin has developed useful tactics to improve his skills and adapt to life in the US. He says that because of Ti-Lin?s determination and willingness to seek advice he has been highly successful.
“I think he’s adapted by doing several things,” Harris said. “One, I think he has made good friends around him so he can ask for a little extra help if he doesn?t understand something. Two, he?s figured out how to be a hard worker in general and how to study and go the extra mile. Finally, he has decided that teachers are approachable.”
On his free time Ti-Lin likes to solve rubric cubes. He is also involved in cross country, which he enjoys despite the sports? intensity. He plans to play baseball at FC when it comes time for the season. Among his other hobbies, is learning how magic tricks work although, he usually doesn?t like to perform them publicly.
Ti-Lin is also talented in art and enjoys swimming at the George Brown 3 club. He interacts socially with his friends through Facebook, and at times enjoys watching football games on TV. Ti-Lin does not have any pets but out of all the animals in the world he likes cats the best.
Recently Ti-Lin has been involved in a unique jogging event called Color Run. Color run is an un-timed five-kilometer run where participants start with white clothes and end coated in a vibrant rainbow of colors. Every kilometer the runners get a bright new color of paint poured on them. The object of the event is to promote healthy living, individuality and create a sense of joy within the participants. Ti-Lin filmed much of the event and combined his footage to make a short video.
Ti-Lin says that color run provided an opportunity to have fun and run. He says that he created the video in order commemorate his first time participating in the event.
“Color Run is a fun event where people play and run,” Ti-Lin said. “On the way to the finish line people will put color on you which is where the name came from. I just thought it would be fun to create a video since it was my first time doing the event. Plus, I enjoy the event very much so I put together all the video I took.”
Despite the challenges that come with being a foreign exchange student, Ti-Lin has had some good times as well.
He recalls going to a fast food restaurant two years ago with his sister and five other foreign exchange students. The meal went well until it was time to pay. Most of his foreign exchange student friends did not know the value of the US dollar, but Ti-Lin did. His friends pulled out all of their random change and gave all of it to Ti-Lin with the hope that he could count the correct amount. In the end the bill was paid mostly with dimes.
Harris who is Ti-Lin?s bible teacher this year enjoys his quiet personality and equally quite sense of humor.
“I think he?s generally actually kind of quiet, but he has one of those quiet senses of humor,” Harris said. “He notices everything that is going on and is constantly absorbing it and kind of giggling at two-thirds of it. It?s pretty fun.”
For more information on the foreign exchange program, read the Nov. 5 article, International students break barrier, Americanize.
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