Seeing America

From the sea city of Qingdao to Leander


Michelle Parker

Throughout the year, Xu has familiarized herself with Leander and its people. She lives with her exchange family and their pet pig.

It’s the tiny details that catch you. Talking about Instagram instead of Weibu or introducing yourself as Lisa instead of Jinghuan. Sophomore Lisa Xu is an exchange student from Qingdao, China. The exchange program allows students to travel and stay with a host family as they attend school and experience a foreign country.

“I wanted to try something new, so here I am,” Xu said. “It’s fun to make friends here and I can practice my English.”

Xu briefly visited the United States when she was younger and had exposure to the English language then as well as in school. When she exchanged, Xu was totally immersed in American culture.

You never know what kind of things you will face. You have to figure it out by yourself.

— Lisa Xu

“You never know what kind of things you will face,” Xu said. “You have to figure it out by yourself and that’s the hardest part. That makes me come better and better.”

Looking to the future, Xu wants to find a career in history.

“I love history,” Xu said. “There were a lot of things that happened in history that are happening now. I believe if you know history, you will also know the future.”

Xu will return to China in the summer and is considering exchanging for another year in America.

“If you are interested in Chinese culture, history, or want to see how Chinese students live, it’s a [good idea] to exchange there,” Xu said. “If you just want to see stuff like the Great Wall, I think you can [travel instead].”