By Shelby Stewart
A Taiwan native is just now getting a taste of a cold Michigan winter.
“I like the snow but it’s too cold for me,” said Brandon high school sophomore Pei-Hsuan Ming, a.k.a. Savannah. “Taiwan in the summer is 90 degrees every day.”
Savannah is one 16 Brandon foreign exchange students visiting for the school year. She arrived in the township in August and will return to her native Taiwan in June. Taiwan is an island located in the South China Sea with more a population of more than 23 million. Ming speaks Mandarin but is fluent in English.
Ming says that her father chose her English name that she goes by, which they needed for English class.
“Taiwan is beautiful and has delicious food,” she said. “America has lots of different food I have never seen or tried before.”
In addition to going to school, Ming is involved in student council, poms, and choir class.
“I like planning for spirit week,” she said. “We don’t have that at my school.”
Another big difference Ming talks about is the length of time she is in school, since in Taiwan she starts school at 7 in the morning until 4 or 5 in the afternoon.
“To me it’s like a half day,” she said. Her jaw drops when a classmate from Brazil says his classes can get out as early as 8 a.m. “We have to stay in home room all day for every class.”
Ming is also looking forward to celebrating Christmas, since the holiday season isn’t really celebrated in Taiwan.
“Every holiday is different,” she said. “Like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween. We don’t have that in Taiwan. I really like it.”
She is also excited to go back to her school in Taiwan and share ideas from here, like spirit week, with her own student council that she participates in back home.
By Shelby Stewart