Angel Hsu, 19, who came to Belle Plaine two years ago as a foreign exchange student through the Rotary Exchange Program, made a return to the city last week along with her mother, Kelly.
The mother-daughter pair visited the Belle Plaine Rotary Club last Wednesday, Feb. 5, as part of their United States visit.
“I missed it here so much. I just decided to come back,” Angel told the Herald.
Kelly had never seen the U.S. and expressed, through her daughter who interpreted, that she wishes she could participate in a non-existent adult exchange program through Rotary, during brief remarks the pair gave to the local Rotary chapter. Kelly was particularly impressed by how strong Angel’s use of the English language became.
Angel, who is now a senior in high school, stated that the pair visited her multiple host families and enjoyed the Minnesota winter, seeing ice castles, going ice fishing and trying sledding.
Not much has changed in Belle Plaine since Angel was last here, but at home in Taiwan, she has become quite popular with her friends and neighbors wanting to know about her travels.
One key difference between Belle Plaine and her home in Taiwan, Angel noted, was the style of education. She said she was forced to use her creativity far more in the U.S. than in her Taiwanese classrooms.
“The education here will make you think more. In Taiwan we just remember things for tests,” Angel said.
Food, of course, is another point of difference between the two cultures. Angel said that her mother was skeptical about American food but grew to like it after eating it multiple times.
Angel isn’t sure where she will attend college, but she hopes to study international affairs.