Name: Tara Cheng (天天 is my Chinese name)
Home Country: China
School: University of Southern California
Year: Graduate Student, Class of 2012
What’s one thing you like better about the US than your home country so far?
People give a better respect on privacy and individuality of others than Chinese do.
What’s one thing you like better about home than the US so far?
Restaurants in Beijing do not close until mid-night.
What one thing from home did you make sure to bring with you to the US?
Chinese accent! Lol I am kidding. My accent is fading day by day. I do not know; I was shocked by how much I was Americanized during the past one year.
Why did you decide to study in the US?
For a completely different life experience in my early age, and the U.S. seems to be more friendly to foreigners than other countries.
What book, movie or TV show do you think most informed your opinion on what the US would be like? Was it accurate?
1. Gay families are pretty acceptable in American society.
2. People start to date in like 13, 14 years old. (Chinese go on first date in college)
3. People have a good relationship with their partner’s ex-husband/ wife/ bf/ gf.
What typical American thing did you most look forward to before you came?
Tall and handsome white guys, you know, Caucasians are bigger guys than Chinese. But it does not seem there are many good looking guys when I came here.
What’s the one thing you most want to teach Americans about your country?
Authentic Chinese food is very healthy, NOT a greasy spoon at all.
What emotion have you experienced most since leaving home?
I miss my family. I dream of them several times a week. But I love Los Angeles, it is my home too.
What’s one thing (academic or not) that you’re really interested in besides your academic major?
Fashion. After interning as publicist in fashion studio for longtime, I launched an online jewelry boutique, Naturalisme Collection. www.naturalisme.net, carrying handmade ethnic jewelry, kind of tribal style, but breezier and more feminine than typical tribal look. I hope to expand it into clothing and home décor in future.
What three words best describe you?
Got lots of guts. Emotional. Sort of impatient.