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Student Feature: Discovering Faith, Developing Friendships

By February 8, 2021April 8th, 2021Better Together Blog

Tommy, Grade 10

For International Week at the Upper School, we wanted to share real stories of international students within our own PCA family. Tommy is an international student from China and has developed his faith, friendships, and interests during his time at PCA. Read his story below, originally in English, translated to his native language in Mandarin Chinese.
“If I didn’t come here, first of all, and probably the biggest, I would not be a Christian. Because I didn’t know about God before I came here. But we had bible classes and I started knowing about God.

How did you come to PCA? 

I came to the Open House at PCA about six years ago. It‘s been a pretty long time, but I think this is pretty good school. Right after I graduated my lower school [elementary school] in China, I decided to come here, to PCA. And when I came here, I found that everything worked out fine for me; everythings nice, the teachers are nice. I have a couple of friends who have stuck with me ever since 7th grade. 

So you came here in 7th grade? 

Yeah, in 7th grade. 

So how was that transition from middle school to high school? 

It’s been good. People are relaxing [easygoinghere. If you ask teachers questions, the teachers will answer you. You can get extra help from the teachers, from your classmates, and your friends too. So, it’s not quite hard with the help from the friends and the teachers. 

When you came here in 7th grade, you stayed with a host family, right? Was that part of the transition hard? 

Actually, not really. Because the host families treat you as one of their kids, like you’re the same. They’re like your second parents here. It’s actually a pretty good experience. You can ask your host family for help if you have any troubles – not just on studies, but if you have any trouble with your life, for example. 

So they really took care of you! 

Yeah! 

What about the PCA community, do you feel like it’s grown you as a person? What specifically do you think would be different if you never came to PCA? 

Yeah, because the PCA community also improved faith in God for me. I became a Christian when I came here.  And people are nice. I made a couple friends, and like I said, who have been my friends since 7th grade. 

If I didn’t come here, first of all, and probably the biggest, I would not be a Christian. Because I didn’t know about God before I came here. But we had bible classes and I started knowing about God.  

And second, because at PCA you can choose clubs for yourself, I can make many interesting studies and try to improve myself as a better person. And PCA doesn’t just have classes like Math or English, but they have other courses like photography or engineering. They’re not just improving your skills for studying, but abilities for other areas that you may be interested in too. 

That’s really encouraging to hear. It really sounds like PCA has done a lot to shape you as a person. Is there anything else you would want to share about your PCA experience? 

Oh, I think the trip in 8th grade to Washington was pretty nice. And we have college tours every year for international students! It’s actually really nice, some extra time for you to get to know America better, and know about American history and peopleit helps integrate [and immerse] you into the group. 

 

您是怎么来PCA的? 

大约六年前,我来到了PCA的开放参观日。已有很长时间了,但我认为这是一所很好的学校。我刚从中国的小学毕业后,就决定来PCA。当我来到这里时,我发现一切对我来说都很顺利。一切都很好,老师们也都很友善。我有几个朋友从7年级认识到现在,都一直陪伴着我。 

 

那你是七年级来这里的吗? 

是的,七年级。 

 

那么,从初中到高中的衔接如何 

很好。人们在这里很放松。如果您问老师问题,老师会回答你的。你可以从老师,同学和朋友那里获得额外的帮助。因此,在朋友和老师的帮助下并不难。 

 

当您七年级来到这里时,您住在寄宿家庭,对吗?刚开始的适应困难吗? 

其实不难。因为寄宿家庭把你看成他们自己的孩子之一,就像你是跟其他孩子一样的。他们就像你的第二个父母。实际上,这是一个很好的体验。你可以向寄宿家庭寻求帮助,例如遇到任何麻烦-不仅是学习上的麻烦,还包括生活方面的麻烦。 

 

所以他们真的很照顾您! 

是的 

  

PCA这个群体又如何呢?您觉得它在您个人成长上有幇助吗?如果您没有来PCA,您认为会有什么不同 

是的,有幇助,因为PCA幇助我增加了对上帝的信心。我来这里时成为基督徒。人们都对我很好。我也在这里结交了几个朋友,就像我前面说的那样,他们从7年级开始就是我的朋友。 

如果我不来这里,首先,也是最重要的,我就不会成为基督徒。因为我来这里之前不认识上帝。但是我们有圣经课,我开始认识上帝 

其次,因为在PCA你可以自己选择社团,所以我可以进行很多有趣的研究,尝试使自己成为一个更好的人。 PCA不仅提供数学或英语等课程,而且还提供摄影或工程学等其他课程。他们不仅可以提高您的学习技能,而且可以提高您可能也感兴趣的其他领域的能力。 

  

听到这真令人鼓舞。听起来PCA确实为塑造您这个人做了很多。您还有其他想分享在PCA的经验吗? 

哦,我认为八年级的华盛顿之旅非常不错。而且我们每年都会为国际学生提供大学旅行!真的很好,您可以多花点时间来更好地了解美国,了解美国的历史和人民;它有助于使您更融入美国。

“…PCA doesn’t just have classes like Math or English, but they have other courses like photography or engineering. They’re not just improving your skills for studying, but abilities for other areas that you may be interested in too. “

Come see it all for yourself!

May 6th | 6:00pm