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Foreign exchange student cherishes time in Texas

Charles+Li+is+from+China+and+has+been+attending+LCM+as+part+of+the+foreign+exchange+program.+
Charles Li is from China and has been attending LCM as part of the foreign exchange program.

Charles Li is from China and has been attending LCM as part of the foreign exchange program.

Trinity Norwood

Trinity Norwood

Charles Li is from China and has been attending LCM as part of the foreign exchange program.

Erika Cook, Writer

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For many people, attending camp out of town for one week might make them homesick; just imagine leaving home for a whole school year. Foreign exchange student Charles Li has done just that.

Li is from China and has been attending LCM since the beginning of the school year. In the foreign exchange program, Li has the opportunity to stay with a local family and attend a public school. He and fellow foreign exchange student Joshua Lister have been staying with science teacher Michael Longmire.

“My host family is pretty cool,” Li said. “He is a teacher at LCM and he gives me the love like a father and I never feel lonely. I have a meaningful time with them.”

My host family is pretty cool.”

— Charles Li

Longmire said he has enjoyed being a host to both Li and Lister, and that he is as grateful for them as they are for him. He tries his best to make this a special experience for them and even bought them American flag pants for Christmas.

“They have a different and interesting view of how life is in the U.S.,” Longmire said. “They see things that we take for granted. Some things they think are better, some are just different. It’s like seeing how things are in the U.S. from a different perspective.”

Even though Li’s time in Southeast Texas fell during one of the most eventful years in history because of the unpredictable weather, Longmire said he has been a trooper through it all.

“Even though this year has been difficult for all of us (flood, hurricane, ice and snow days), he and Josh have never complained,” Longmire said. “He is very funny but besides that, I like to learn things about his country that I didn’t know.”

Li is planning on returning home to China on June 12 of this year. During his time in Orange, he said he has been able to make incredible memories. He has also learned a lot and met a lot of friendly people.

“I’m first going to miss my host family because they treated me like their child,” Li said. “Second is my host brother. Though we haven’t known each other before this, he has become a real brother to me. And then I will also miss school and the friends I knew here.”

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Foreign exchange student cherishes time in Texas