FAIRFIELD — Six exchange students from China and Mongolia wrapped up their week at Fairfield Christian School in American style – feasting on pizza.
The all-female group was originally slated to visit another school. Fairfield Christian School officials were asked Feb. 1 if the school could host six of them, five in high school, one in middle school. There were a total of 32 in the group. The others spent the week in Elk Grove and San Jose.
The visiting students spent some time Friday in chapel followed by hanging out in the computer room with the high school students.
Tracy Yu, 16, said her school in China has about 1,500 students. Fairfield Christian School has a little more than 100 enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade. She said they use tablets at schools, not books.
Amber Zhao, 16, attends a school in Beijing with 1,000 students.
“No one has treated me as friendly,” she said of the Fairfield Christian School student body. At home, she studies math, language, history, physical education and chemistry.
“School is very different,” she said. “There’s very much freedom (here.) In China the teacher is strict with us.”
Mason Tadlock, a junior at Fairfield Christian School, said he enjoyed meeting the students and did his best to make them feel comfortable. While Zhao talked about how friendly Tadlock was, he said he felt that she was “super friendly.”
“They say it’s a lot different here,” Tadlock said. “I think it would be hard for me to go to China and not understand the language.”
Two of the visiting students stayed at his family’s home, affording him the opportunity learn about Chinese culture and how to write some simple Chinese symbols.
“They are really good at math,” junior Taylor Fuller said.
Mike Savage, dean of students at Fairfield Christian School, said the visit has been a wonderful experience for his students.
“This takes them outside of themselves,” he said. “They meet people they wouldn’t have.”
It also opens the door for the school to send some Fairfield Christian School students to China, he said.
Savage said he was impressed with how kind and sensitive the exchange students were. He teaches Bible and history at the school. On Monday, when he walked into class, some of his students were talking. He learned that the exchange students get into trouble if they talk in class.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.