Jet-Lagged Journeys: Students' First Encounter with Host Families

Programs for this blog post

Chinese Language & Culture

Authored By:

Emily Lin

As the plane descended into Shanghai, excitement mingled with exhaustion among these students embarking on a journey of a lifetime. After a long flight that traversed states, continents and time zones, they finally touched down in this bustling metropolis, ready to begin their academic pursuits. However, their adventure had only just begun. First things first, some students made their first purchases of ice cream and cold drinks in the airport. That definitely hit the spot after a long day (or two..or three!) of travel!           

ice cream

Already starting to form relationships and enjoying mingling while waiting for fellow students to arrive!

airport 1

Exhaustion has officially set in but adrenaline is putting big smiles on our faces while we wait to head to ECNU. The first group of students have arrived with program leader, Anesce (bottom left).

airpot 2

Second group has arrived and ready to hop on the 1.5 hour bus journey to campus. Just enough time to take a little snooze.. although I heard a lot of laughter! Everyone must've slept well on the plane.. Program leader Emily (upper left), Li Ting (lower left), Cai Wen (lower right) and Danielle (upper right) are ready to kick off a great summer.

airport 3

Students arrived on campus and first item on the agenda was to check in at the registration desk with their passport.

check in, sim card

Patiently waiting to check in and grab local sim cards and phones! Gotta stay connected!

check in

Check-in is done and sleep is so close we can hardly wait, BUT how can you even think about sleep when your host family comes with these cute signs to pick you up?! 

cute signs

Many host families have children and one of them can be seen here giving our student a gift! There's nothing like Chinese hospitality.

gift from host dughter

Program coordinator, Lucy is featured right in green as she introduces a student to her host mom. 

meet program coordinator and host families

Finally, introductions are finished and it's time to take suitcases and head to our host families for the first time. 

leave with families

More students leaving the registration building (right next to our classrooms-off to the left of this picture!) and going home with their host families.

leaving with families

Students had a busy time after arriving home. Dinner was long awaited for many of them and was a good chance to start working on those chopstick skills!

girl and daughter

When we arrived in Shanghai it was the Dragon Boat Festival so our students got a very special treat in being able to make and/or eat 粽子 (zong zi) which is a triangular-shaped dumpling made of sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. It is a yummy tradition!

zong zi 2

More 粽子 making with a view!! Shanghai weather has been good to us the first 3 days of the program with cloudy skies, minimal rain and even a breeze! The greenery is beautiful.

zong zi

After a long few days of travel, family dinner, and zong zi making, day 2 was time for the students to make their way to campus again for orientation. Many were dropped off or accompanied by their host families and kids! :) 

bus ride with host daughter