The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Past exchange student

Gigi Lee was a foreign exchange student 25 years ago who spent her junior year here at Marshfield. She is originally from Hong Kong, China. Recently, she came back for the holidays to revisit the campus and reconnect with her host family, who was excited to finally see her again. After all these years they continued to keep in contact with each other and send gifts back and forth. Christmas is Lee’s favorite holiday and she really enjoys how we celebrate it here in the United States. 

Two Marshfield High School students, Megan Park and Aspen Elst gave Lee a tour to show her around and how much has changed here in the past 25 years. 

“A lot of these buildings weren’t here, like the physical education gym,” said Lee.

Some of her favorite classes she took at Marshfield was P.E., since having P.E. classes every day was new to her,

“You do a lot of exercise here,” she said. “When I did physical education I was one of three girls out of all thirty guys in class doing basketball and I couldn’t do as much as they could. Back in my country, P.E. was only one time a week.” 

When Lee went to school here, she took an interest in sports, mainly track and field. She partook in pole vaulting and thought this was an amazing opportunity and experience for her. 

“I didn’t have a lot of chances to try a lot of things,” she said. “So by the time I got here everything was new to me. Everything was an opportunity to me; I had to try so that’s why I’d go to the track and do pole vaulting. I enjoyed the time here,” Lee says.

Going back and seeing the field where she would practice was nostalgic for her; what was new for her was seeing the opponent stands, and the Steve Prefontaine statue. 

Twenty-five years was a long time ago, so a lot has changed since Lee has been here. Something that stood out to her that changed was the drama lab because the school didn’t have one when she came here. Marshfield had dances a lot more frequent then compared with now. 

“Friday after school they used to have some type of dance party,” Lee said.

She is acclimated to hotter weather back in Hong Kong, so getting use to the cold weather was a bit of a process for Lee. 

“It gets very cold here at night,” she said. “One time when I went to one of the dances I was freezing and I never danced before but started dancing to try and keep warm.”  

Lee went to a lot of the dances as well as prom, where she asked one of her classmates to go with her.

“I remember I asked a guy to prom with me, but he didn’t get my letter,” she remembered. “So I went up to him and asked if he got my letter and he kept saying no so I was like I better ask you now then!” 

They ended up going together and having a fun time.

The buildings in Oregon were also different from what Lee was accustomed to in Hong Kong. All the buildings in Coos Bay are only a couple floors high, whereas in Hong Kong they have a lot more floors.

“Here, every building is just one or two floors,” she said. “But back where I live, I live on the 25th floor.”

How we dress in the United States is also very different when compared to culture in Hong Kong. Casual dress is allowed at schools in the U.S., as it is often seen as a way to express independence. This is not the norm for schools in China. 

“Something that was different for me coming here is that you can wear makeup,” Lee said. “You can’t wear makeup in Hong Kong school so when I first got here I learned how to do make-up.”

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About the Contributors
Megan Park
Megan Park, Business Manager
Megan Park is a senior this year and this is her third year in journalism and second year on the business team. She enjoys hanging out with friends and making jewelry. After highschool she plans to go to University and live in a van and travel.
Aspen Elst
Aspen Elst, Business Manager
Aspen Elst a senior and a third year member of journalism and second year on the business team. In her free time she enjoys listening to music and making jewelry. After highschool she plans to move away to somewhere cold. She's undecided on what to do after highschool but plans to wing it.
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