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Q&A: New freshman loves California sunshine but misses hometown’s panda bears


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(Photo used by permission of Zhou)
Freshman Daisy Zhou during the Chinese Spring Festival in 2017 in Guilin, Guangxi, China.

Daisy Zhou is a new freshman who grew up in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

Q: What do you like most about Chengdu?

A: I love the food, my home and, of course, I loved the cute panda bears. (Chengdu holds the greatest number of giant pandas in the world and has multiple zoos as well as the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.) There are (also) lots of delicious (and) spicy foods like hot pot and boiled beef. Additionally, there is lots of traditional Sichuan cuisine like Kung Pao chicken and twice-cooked pork.


Q: Are you excited to be living in the U.S.?

A: Yes, I’m really excited to live (with) a host family. I like the interesting learning methods here. Although it is quite different from (China), I can find fun and get benefits from them.

I also like the climate and weather here. It is warm. The sky’s blue and the air’s fresh. And I really love the lovely sunshine.   


Q: Why did you choose to come to Country Day?
A: I know (from resources that) the students and teachers are very nice. I (thought) the academics (would be) excellent, so I (thought) I (would be able to further my studies, which) is definitely good for (me).


Q: What school were you at previously?

A: It’s (called) Chengdu Shude High School. It is a boarding school. We live in the dorm on workdays and (go) back home on weekends. It is actually a famous and excellent school. (It’s very different) from American schools. 

I studied French in my primary school for about three years. Then I did not study it anymore when I joined middle school.


Q: How is your old school different from Country Day?

A: My school has fences, (and) all the schools in China have fences. (Also, there is much more) homework (at my old school).


Q: What’s your first impression of SCDS?

A: I think it’s really nice. No matter the classmates or the teachers, they are always friendly. (They) take care of me and (help me out) and make me feel confident to study in the future.


(Photo used by permission of Zhou)
Zhou practices her golf swing at a course in her hometown, Chengdu.

Q: What are you looking forward to at SCDS?

A: (Getting to know) the teachers and (my) classmates. The new and totally different study way excites me.

Q: Are you interested in any sports?

A: I played badminton in China, but I know badminton is not very popular in America. I joined the P.E. elective, (so) maybe I can choose interesting sports in that class.


Q: Why badminton?

A: It’s popular in China and it’s a good way to exercise.


Q: How long have you been playing badminton?

A: About four years.


Q: Do you have a favorite class?

A: English, because I can read interesting and famous books. It is really a challenge for me because English is my second language, and it’s difficult for me to read the English books. But because it is a challenge, I can develop my English skill.

By Elise Sommerhaug

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