Crystal Jiang is a freshman from Chaoyang, Beijing, China, where she formerly attended Beijing Gung Ye Da Xue Fu Shu Zhong Xue (the high school attached to the Beijing University of Technology) with her younger cousin, freshman Howard Yuan. Jiang and Yuan have been at Country Day for just over a month.
Q: What was it like to go to the same school as your cousin, both here and in China?
A: While Howard is my close cousin and we went to the same school, there were two different campuses. Therefore, I didn’t see him at school unless there were athletic competitions or singing competitions, in which case the campuses were combined; however, we got together at family dinners quite frequently. Family dinner in China is a big deal, so all the cousins would be together. Also, when either of our parents had birthdays, we would get together.
Q: Was that always a part of the plan, for you two to go to the same school?
A: Yes. My mom and my aunt thought that the two of us wouldn’t feel lonely if we went to the same school. China is so far away, and without a close family member here, it can be hard sometimes.
Q: What’s your favorite American food?
A: I love In-N-Out Burger so much. I can understand why it is so famous now. The cheeseburger is just so delicious and the fries are perfect.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: I prefer summer break, mainly because it is the longest one. That way, I can go home without rushing, and I have the time to spend with my friends and really enjoy my life.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: I like “Gossip Girl” because it is the first American TV show that I watched. And it is relatable in a weird way, even if you grew up in a different country.
Q: Your favorite sport?
A: I like swimming and badminton, but I am not what you would call a “sporty” girl in any way.
Q: Do you practice Kung Fu (the martial art of China)?
A: No. This is a really strange question.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
A: I think I will go to university in America, and after my studies I want to return to China. I really want to be a singer, but I don’t think I can be a famous star.
Q: Do you have any siblings?
A: I have an older brother, who I am very close with. I miss him very much because he is the one person that I can tell anything to. Not being able to talk to him as often as I used to has been one of the hardest things to adjust to.
Q: Anything really challenging about your move to America?
A: I didn’t want to go to America in the beginning because I was homesick so much. The course load was hard because even when the teacher is just making jokes, you have to focus to understand them.
Q: What is your favorite Chinese food?
A: To be honest, I am not really picky when it comes to food. I can eat Sichuan, Xinjiang, Dim Sum, Shanghainese. Really you name it, I’ll eat it. However, my favorite thing is noodles, preferably zha jiang mian, a very famous Chinese dish. (A Beijing staple, they are dried noodles with stir-fried pork on top.) Doesn’t hurt that my mom is an amazing chef too!