Spothlight Joseph


HCE Mentor

Joseph, from Missouri, attended the HCE Mentor program in Beijing from December 2014 until June 2015. For him, the most interesting part of the program was the huge number of differences between life in China and America. He had plenty of “first times” in Beijing, especially related to food. Joseph became a huge fan of Chinese cuisine while living in Beijing, and despite his appetite, he had yet to try many delicious foods by the end of his program.

One concern Joseph had, along with many other HCE applicants, is air pollution in China. After living in Beijing for some time, he said: “I’ve come to realize that it’s not all that bad, depending upon the wind that day. Though this city has its good days and its bad days, most days are entirely bearable, and don’t require any type of mask. There are plenty of ways to monitor the air quality too. I have a mask myself, but rarely resort to using it.”

Though this city has its good days and its bad days, most days are entirely bearable, and don’t require any type of mask.

Eric, Joseph’s host brother, is a great kid who’s really into sports. Joseph and Eric played tons of sports and even went skiing together! Eric also introduced Joseph to his classmates, and Joseph was happy to feel included in their group. On weekends, Eric liked to bring Joseph to visit interesting places around Beijing, and Joseph looked after Eric. Despite their obvious differences, in some ways Joseph and Eric were like real brothers…not bad for six months!

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