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Oak Leaves

November 22, 2019


MU Hosts Chan Fellows Visiting from China


Jacob Hamilton

 

Manchester University recently entertained the Chan Fellows, students visiting all the way from China, on Nov. 11, 2019. These scholars traveled quite a distance to learn about Midwestern culture and take in the sights to see in this part of the world, as well as further their studies and experiences.

The scholars, who were eating breakfast in Haist Commons during this interview, all spoke with excitement and smiles on their faces. What did they think of food in the Midwest? The response was quite positive. “The food is actually really good here,” said Carol Chen. “Different in a lot of ways but still very good.”

The 11 scholars spent four nights with host families (including faculty, friends of MU and longtime North Manchester residents), and, during the day, traveled to a variety of locations, including farms, a shopping mall, and an ice-skating rink. They saw a play at the Embassy Theatre, attended classes at the university and toured the free clinic Matthew 25 in Fort Wayne.  According to senior scholar Justin Hung: “People are friendly and pleasant here. In fact they’re actually much friendlier than people in Cali.” (Many of the Fellows have been studying at the University of California—Berkeley.)

The Chan Fellows arrived in Indiana at a historic time—in terms of the temperature. The weather was the coldest that it had been in mid-November for 30 years. Did they notice? Senior scholar Yuki Li replied simply: “It is cold here. VERY cold.”

Hung compared Indiana again to the West Coast, but this time Indiana didn’t come out on top. “California weather is nice,” he said. “Very nice weather. A lot of sun and warmth. Not like this.”  Fellow scholar Maisha Yusuf actually saw snow for the first time that weekend, and she seemed to very much enjoy the experience. The snow was, as she put it, “nice in its own way.”

The scholars all appreciated the efforts made by their host families. Maisha Yusuf and Yuki Li, who stayed with Patty Grant, executive director of the Community Foundation of Wabash County and member of MU’s Board of Trustees, and her husband David, said their family is “extremely hospitable” and “helpful” to their efforts in the United States.

The Chan Fellows also visited certain places that are believed to define this area of the country. One such place was a large farm owned by the Hartsoughs—who were also a host family—and it made an impression. “We are visiting from a very urban area of the world,” Yusuf said. “All we normally see are cities. It’s what we’ve become used to. Being here, we saw a lot of farms. It provided a lot of new experiences and perspectives. I really enjoyed my time here.”