Twenty Chinese students visit Taranaki

Article shared from Taranaki Daily News:

A group of teenagers visiting from the world's most populous country have found New Plymouth to be a breath of fresh air. 

Twenty students from Dongguan Middle School in China are staying in New Plymouth on a one-month study program as a way to learn about a different culture while sharing a bit of their own.
The students were placed at Francis Douglas Memorial College, Sacred Heart Girls College and Spotswood College and will return home August 28.

Sixteen-year-olds Steven Lee and Victor Ye are loving Taranaki and all it has to offer. Sixteen-year-olds Li Longxi and Ye Ziyang, who were at Francis Douglas, said they loved all Taranaki had to offer.

"China is very busy and people are under pressure," Li Longxi, who goes by Steven, said.

The year 10 students have fallen in love with Taranaki's landscape, fresh air, and food.
Ye Ziyang, or Victor, worried he would get sick when returning home.

"The air is very fresh and clean here," he said. They've been enjoying our national delicacies too. 
"We get kiwi fruit in China, but it's much nicer here," Steven said.

"And the fish and chips are very good, but I am very easy to feed."

And when it came to education, the teenagers said New Zealand was a bit more relaxed.
"In China, we go to school at 7am and get out at 10pm," Victor said.

"I was just shocked to leave this school and have only little homework. 
"In China, your teacher say holidays are just for another place to do homework."
And both find math to be their favourite.

"It's very easy. We don't need a calculator," Victor said.

"Here they teach year 10 math that we learned in year six."

About two weeks ago, the students from China were paired with Kiwi students as a way to offer cultural guidance and create new friendships.

Francis Douglas student Simon Kleinsman said he admired the international students' bravery.
"They came right in and have fit in really well," he said.

"They are curious about our culture and we get to learn from them as well."

The International Education Taranaki program aims to provide a "global gateway" for both international and provincial students.

Student teacher Margie Smith said she was thrilled about the new relationship with the Chinese middle school.

"It's a great way for our students to learn about another culture while providing international students with new opportunities."