Sheena Liang Embraces Her American Experience


Vit Nosek, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Sheena Liang, current exchange student from China, came to Notre Dame Academy in August last year. It has been five months of learning about a different culture,  staying with a host family and experiencing many unforgettable situations. Her positive attitude and enthusiasm are shared with all of us every day.

Liang grew up in a metropolis called Guangzhou in southern China. It is one of the largest cities with a population of over 14 million people. She describes it as a city with a lot of flowers and no snow.

“I couldn’t wait for the first snow in Wisconsin. One day, I woke up and saw snow for the time in my life. It was amazing. I had to immediately call my parents,” she said.

It’s interesting to see cultural differences and note completely different points of view of the same thing. There are many situations like this, when people from different countries have a lot of fun with relatively common things.

Liang has no relatives in the US, so it was a major decision to become an exchange student. She signed up for an international program because her dream about American culture was obvious from a very young age.

Liang emphasized her passion for languages and said, “First of all, I want to improve my English skills and learn about this culture.”

The importance of English is very clear as more than 20% of the world population speaks English, and the number has been significantly growing since the beginning of the 21st century.

Even though America and China are both very industrialized countries, the way of life is completely different in many aspects.

Asked for a positive and negative experience with American culture, Liang explained, “In general, people are very nice, open and willing to help. I’ve found them very easy-going.”

According to many statistics, it’s easier to get along with people in the USA as a foreigner because the diverse society is a unique concept in this country. On the other hand, a big issue called “unhealthy food” is common, especially in comparison to China.

She would probably pick fast foods as the weirdest thing about America. Liang answered this question with a sense of humor and said that food portion was twice bigger in America, so she always had enough for another day.

She added,  “I mean, that’s fine, I got used to it.”

Notre Dame Academy is a favorite part of her experience. She enjoys all classes and the whole community of people.

Liang takes advantage of a wide variety of subjects and thinks about her future: “My favorite is personal finance because I want to study business and communication in college.”

Liang would like to connect her experience from China and America for her dream job.

“Working in an international company focused on traveling would be my favorite job,” she said.