BLUE HILL — International students at George Stevens Academy, most of whom are from China, say they like the freedom and shorter school day that studying in America provides.
Many look forward to returning home to share their ideas with their parents who own companies or are college professors.
But, a few want to stay here.
Chun “Charcy” Ye of Shanghai said she would like to stay in America and work for a while after college.
“I’ve thought about taking a job here,” Ye said. “I want to find a job maybe teaching. I really enjoy myself here. And I find myself here. I don’t want to depend on my father.”
Yixuan “Candy” Dai of Shanghai said, “I want to feel this country and know this country for a long time.”
Ye and Dai were two of several of GSA’s 36 international students who spoke Tuesday about the educational differences between America and China and what awaits them after graduation.
The forum was held at the Blue Hill Town Hall as part of GSA’s monthly Parent Association meeting.
Ning “Corey” An, who hails from Shenzhen, said at first, “I really didn’t like this place. The food sucks. The weather sucks. It’s too cold.”
But, after six months, Blue Hill and GSA worked its charm and An fell in love with Maine.
What An especially likes is GSA’s small size.
An said he might have 3,000 students just in his class if he’d stayed in China.
Several students praised the freedom they have at GSA.
For one, there is a shorter day with just four classes at GSA versus eight in China.
Dai said, “I’m not making you guys happy. I really like the educations here.”
In China, there is “one mold,” one student who is considered the best and the teachers encourage all the students to follow what that student does, said Dai.
So Young Ihm of Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea, whose nickname is also “So Young” concurs.
Ihm is studying in the United States because her father said there would be “no vision for her if she stayed in Korea.”
“I just had to do what people told me to do,” Ihm said of Korea. “Here I get a lot choices and freedoms about what I can do. It’s really cool.”