Chinese Transfer Embraces New Opportunities


Maggie Doolittle, Staff Writer

Seeking a better education, freshman Jingxi Ma moved to America from Xi’an, China, just weeks before the start of the school year.

Communication in her new community has been a challenge. “I learned English from when I was 5…but sometimes it’s still hard,” she said.

Another 2nd language learner, freshman Alisa Ermokhina agreed, “It’s really challenging sometimes because it’s hard to understand what people want from you…but most people at Campo are kind and friendly so [non-native speakers] feel more comfortable.”

The differences in American and Chinese school systems have been evident to Ma. In China, school started at 7:00am and ended at 6:00pm. According to Ma, the teachers would not allow students to walk around campus, and her previous school’s structure was much larger, with 5 floors.

Ma also said that her homework load at Campolindo is much lighter and that school here is easier. “I learned all this stuff when I was in seventh grade,” she said.

She added that in America, “it’s like everybody’s free, you can go anywhere you want.”

So far, Ma’s favorite aspects of living in America are the food and her geometry class.

Her geometry teacher, Bill Doherty said, “[Being a second-language learner] is an additional hurdle that native-English speakers don’t have…[but] the content of mathematics is more universal.”

Ma hopes to “learn more about English and make some Chinese friends.”