Cambridge Homestay services introduced Yining Li (Chris) to host family, the Toppings. Chris, an international student at La Salle College High School in Glenside, Pennsylvania, has become incredibly close with the Topping family during his stay in the U.S. By frequently interacting and having fun with his host family, he has greatly improved his English skills and become accustomed to the U.S. culture.
“We’ve had a great relationship with Chris” explains Matt Topping, who went on to explain how they watch movies with subtitles together and play games to help Chris develop as a thriving international student. Host mother, Brenda Topping, associates his curiosity to his success as he was immediately very outgoing and eager to know more about the family and culture.
Chris’ transition to living with a U.S. host family was very smooth. His mother, Grace, later came to the U.S. and was invited to stay with the Toppings. “It’s been great. First of all, the people my son chose are very warm and inviting” explained Grace. Although Grace does not speak English, she had her son to help her communicate and also utilized translation apps to communicate with the Topping family.
Chris and Grace had the pleasure to join the Topping family on Christmas day, and were even invited to take part in all the family traditions. This being their first time experiencing Christmas, Chris and Grace were enamored by the festive traditions. Grace, who is a music teacher in China, sang for the Topping family amidst the holiday spirit.
The Topping family were also happy to take Chris and Grace to New York City. There, they visited Time’s Square, the Statue of Liberty, and welcomed the new year in one of the biggest cultural hotspots in the U.S.
Chris has been able to learn about U.S. culture through his host family, and the Topping family has learned much about Chinese culture through Chris. Forming a lifelong friendship, Chris and his mother now consider the Toppings as extended family. Grace has even invited the Topping family to visit them in China.
“Having an international student has been a great experience for me and for our entire family” – Scott Topping.
Watch Cambridge Network’s video on Chris, Grace, and the Topping family below:
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