In the “New Kids on the Block” series, new students were interviewed on their life outside of SCDS.
Freshman Bill Tsui is an international student who came to Country Day from Hong Kong, where he attended Renaissance College. Tsui plays both badminton and the flute and knows four-and-a-half languages.
Q: Were you born in Hong Kong?
A: I was born in Hong Kong in the New Territories.
Q: What are the New Territories like?
A: It’s similar to a village but with some city aspects. Before the development of the New Territories, Hong Kong was just a really small island. To make the New Territories, they filled the ocean with rocks.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do or see in Hong Kong?
A: Every Saturday night my friends and I would go to Victoria Harbor. The view is great. It’s the best view you can get in Hong Kong. There is another place called The Peek where you can look down at Hong Kong. That’s great.
Q: What extracurricular activities did you do in Hong Kong?
A: I did concert band, basketball and badminton. I started all of these two-to-three years ago. In concert band, I play the flute.
Q: Why did you choose to play the flute?
A: I really like the sound. I was listening to a Star Wars soundtrack, and I heard “dooh-dooh-dooh-dooh–dooh.” I thought that it sounded nice, so I just started playing it.
Q: Which school do you like more?
A: I like this school more because I feel that the smaller size of the classes allows me to learn more than when I’m in a large class. If the teacher asks you a question, you are more likely to be chosen to answer the question than if you were in a larger class.
Q: Why did you come to America?
A: America is a free country over such a large space. There are trees everywhere, and the sky is actually blue. (There is much less pollution.) It’s a great place to learn, especially for foreigners. It helps them improve their English.
Q: What is your least favorite thing about school here?
A: The lunch food is not very good at times.
Q: Why do you like the food from Hong Kong more?
A: The food here is really, really, really salty. Sometimes this is even the case for Asian restaurants.
Q: What are your favorite dishes from Hong Kong and the U.S.?
A: I like all of the dim sum dishes from Hong Kong. For America, I don’t actually mind chicken legs.
Q: What’s your favorite class so far?
A: My favorite class is history. I’ve liked history ever since I was young. I like to imagine that I am looking back into the past.
Q: Which languages do you speak?
A: Cantonese, Mandarin, Taiwanese, English and a bit of Spanish.
Q: How did you learn these languages?
A: I had to learn Cantonese and Mandarin so that I could communicate with my family. I learned Taiwanese because I am part Taiwanese, and my family also speaks this language. I learned most of my Taiwanese by watching television shows. I learned English at the international school that I went to in Hong Kong. This year I am starting Spanish at Country Day.
Q: What TV shows do you watch?
A: I like to watch late-night talk shows. My favorite is Jimmy Kimmel’s show. He is very amusing.
—By Jackson Margolis