May 31, 2011
By ASHLEY JACKSON - Bulletin Staff Writer
Three foreign exchange students who graduated Saturday from Carlisle School hope to share their love of the Martinsville area with the world.
Yuxiang “Bill” Chen, Yipeng Xie and Tianxiao “Frank” Guo, all from China, produced a video for a senior project that showcases Carlisle and several attractions in Martinsville. The video is aimed at students in China who are interested in studying in the United States.
Featured in the video are Brad Kinkema, the executive director of the Martinsville-Henry County YMCA; Kim Adkins, the mayor of Martinsville; and a marketing department executive with the Virginia Museum of Natural History. Members of Carlisle’s leadership staff and teachers also are featured.
The students chose to do such a video “to get more Chinese students to know the benefits of the school and the community and how awesome it is,” Xie said.
He said that he loves that he attended Carlisle because “(there are) small class sizes, a well-qualified faculty and a very considerate leadership staff, the environment and a lot of extracurricular activities.”
“It’s a quiet place, good for studying,” Guo said.
All of them enjoyed living in Martinsville as well.
“It (Martinsville) is a very ecological environment, a lot of trees and a lot of natural scenes,” Xie said. “We marvel at this.”
“(This) is very different from an Asian country,” Chen said.
“In China, the only way to feel nature is at one small park,” Guo said.
They all came from large cities in China. Xie and Guo live in a city near Hong Kong, and Chen lives in a city near the Long River, Chen said.
Aside from the fact that Martinsville has more trees and not as many people, what they loved the most about the area is “the hospitality of the citizens,” Xie said.
Chen explained that in China, everyone is so busy working that they don’t develop close relationships and there isn’t as much communication.
“The people here want to help you, unlike China,” Chen said. “(In China) we dreamed to be like this, but we didn’t know that it was a real thing.”
“The people living here are like family,” Guo said.
Chen mentioned how much it surprised him when his host family had family gatherings about twice a month. “In China, we don’t have family parties,” he said.
“People here are willing to help each other and to share happiness and to offer happiness,” Xie said.
Chen explained how much it meant to him to see people’s support of the school sports teams. In China, there isn’t as much opportunity to play sports because it’s all “study, study, study,” Chen said.
He said that teachers, his host family and people from the community came to his basketball games at Carlisle, which was different for him. He remembered how his parents never came to his basketball games in China.
“The parents are so busy, they have no time or no chance to come to watch,” Guo said.
American culture and small town culture were different for them, but “it’s a great experience,” Xie said.
The students planned to post the video on Carlisle’s website and to give copies to the agents in China who promoted Carlisle to them.
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