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November 4, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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November 4, 2015
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 1B Maggie Wells Staff Writer mwells@plumasnews.com Greenville High School has two students this year who are not only new to American high school, but are thoroughly enjoying their experience. Only two months in the United States, Narapong "Big" Hongthai of Bangkok, Thailand, and Yujie Wang of Shanghai, China, are starting to adjust to their new lives as American high school students. Both are staying in Greenville as guests of Elsie B. Wesley for the year. Hongthai wanted to come to the United States "to learn about American culture, work on my English skills, and so that the experience will help me grow up." Students in Thailand begin learning English in first grade, but the concentration is on grammar and vocabulary and testing. Hongthai wanted the opportunity for conversation and practice. In the big city of Bangkok, Thai teens are expected to only be students. "Thai teens cannot do adult things like drive or work," Hongthai said. His school had over 3,000 students, with 150 in a class. "School is very different here. In Thailand very few of the 150 would be focused on studying. Here, there are fewer students, but more are focused on studying," Hongthai said. Hongthai noticed big cultural differences between the twqschopts. ,In ............ Thailand, boys and girls would never kiss in public. You would never see students doing that, but here it's common. Students can walk around and talk to each other too. People are friendly here," noted Hongthai. "There is more time after school for sports and activities," Hongthai added. "I feel now that I will be able to live in both a city and in the country because of Greenville," Hongthai said. Hongthai's favorite courses are Dan Brown's Natural Resources class and Scott Abrahm's Academic Chess. "There is nothing like these in Bangkok," Hongthai said. He likes sitting in the bleachers at the football field to watch games and people playing and hanging out with their dogs. School life isn't the only big difference. This time of year in Thailand it is still warm, of course. Hongthai t'mds that while he likes the fall weather, the cold is waking him up at night. He also misses Thai food and has had to get used to an increase in meat and dairy. He plans to go back to Thailand to finish high school and two years of college before returning to the U.S. for university- hopefully in New York -- to study computer engineering. Yujie Wang wanted to come to the U.S. to improve his Epglish skills through immersion in the language and culture. When he returns to Shanghai, he will take a test all senior high school students take for graduation. He then plans on attending college in the U.S. and wants to improve his English speaking skills for this reason. He hopes to study the sciences and learn how technology is incorporated into the sciences. Coming from the crowded city of Shanghai, Wang said, "I like the small town. It's nice to be here in a small place." "School is very different here. In Thailand very few of the 150 would be focused on studying. Here, there are fewer students, but more are focused on studying." Narapong Hongthai Student from Thailand He also noticed the differences in campus culture between the two places. "In China, drinking water from a public fountain is different. Everyone has their own cup. Here people just drink from the fountain." Wang likes the pace of American high school life. "In China, we don't get home from school until late at night. There's no time for anything but schoolwork. America is more relaxed, there's less homework," said Wang. Chinese schools also require attendance on Saturdays. His favorite class here is Dan Brown's math class. Wang, however, definitely misses Chinese food and his friends back home. American food is a bit heavy to him. When he's not in class, he enjoys his free time and listening to music. Both young men said that Wesley, their host mother, takes very good care of them and is a good cook. They are both looking forward to visiting San Francisco next month. They didn't realize how far away Greenville would be from the coast. Before going back to their home countries at the end of the school year, they dream of visiting Los Angeles and New York. "We like Greenville," they both concluded. International students Narapong "Big" Hongthai, left, from Bangkok, Thailand and Yujie Wang from Shanghai, China, enjoy the chance to be American teens for a year in Greenville. Photo by Maggie Wells STK #2138 VIN #912977 '12 DODGE CHARGER WOW, ' WHAT A ....... CAR! FRONT WHEEL DRIVE ONLY ,000 , i : '13 MINI( ONLY 37,000 MILES! ( 1 STK #21061 VIN #N51526 WHEEL , / t SIX #2195 "VIN #408450 * PRIOR RENTAL (i :142 * VIN #310530 '15 CHEVY ONLY 37,O00 MILES! EQUINOX 4X4 '14 GMC SAVANA 2500 VAN ONLY STK #2116 * VIN #052286 * PRIOR RENTAL '13 FORD EDGE UM D 4)(4 ONLY 000 STK #2061 VIN #C352i8 * PRIOR RENTAL t (