was the day of Diwali, which is an Indian festival. My Indian classmate wore her festive dress and shared the traditional festive sweets. It was the first time I knew about this Indian festival and enjoyed it. I have an extraordinary and unique experience to study with people from countries I am not familiar with. If I study in China with a single culture, I would never have opportunities to make friends from different cultures. But it is easy to make friends from different countries at ESLI -TWU. The group work in class helps us to familiarize with each other, and the same English level helps us to connect and build a relationship. I have made friends from countries I’ve never heard of. At the same time, we were the first Chinese some of them ever knew. At first, I had some cultural misunderstandings or stereotypes about their culture. With our comfortable and enjoyable friendship, I asked them directly what I was curious about in the casual conversation, and they answered and explained those curious questions thoughtfully. We also supported each other in homework and presentations with our different strengths and talked about personal lives, such as emotional issues or favorite movies. Although we have a different mother-tongue and cultural background, we got along with each other at ESLI, which has proved to be a friendly and supportive environment.
Olivia is the girl in the red coat in the picture below. Her classmates come from India, South Korea, China, Iran, Colombia and Ivory Coast.
By Olivia Lu, ESLI Alum at TWU