I am a visiting scholar from China. Stephanie Tansey had given me an orientation in Beijing before I went to America. Actually, she was invited by Capital Normal University to give an orientation to scholars who will go abroad soon. She introduced some background knowledge about life in America, and culture differences between China and America. She taught us how to get to know the university, how to find information on the university website, how to find stores, Chinese restaurants and hospitals nearby. She also taught us what to say when you first meet someone, and many useful sentences to converse with scholars in America. We practiced a lot. The orientation was practical, and very helpful.
After orientation, Stephanie introduced a mentor to me, her name is Michele DiMartino. She said Michele can help me on whatever problem I have during the time I am in America. At first I was a little suspicious about that. But after seven months’ experiences, I would say that she can help me almost on every aspect of living in America. My mentor and I talk on Thursday every week by telephone. We talked about how to order food in a restaurant to how to reply to an invitation politely, from how to deal with a parking ticket to how to practice oral English with people around me. She really helps me a lot, not only on daily life in America, but also with my language ability. Whenever I encounter a problem, her name will come to my mind, just like I have an old friend in America. On May 2nd, my mentor drove more than two hours to East Lansing to see me. I was greatly moved by her visit, and we had a wonderful time together. As time goes by, I become more and more confident about communicating with Americans and that really has a good impact on my work here. Tianxiao Wang 2015/6/25