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Living with a Chinese roommate during the spring ’15 semester was one of my favorite aspects of TBC. My roommate and I became extremely close by the end of the semester. It was sad to move out once the semester ended, however my summer internship at TBC has given me a new living experience: living with a host family.

My experience in a homestay has been just as rewarding as my roommate experience. I live with an English professor at UIBE, TBC’s host university, his wife, their son and daughter-in-law. Altogether there are five of us.

Living with a Chinese family has allowed me to first hand experience traditional Chinese values of family and hospitality. Most people in America would find it shocking that a newlywed couple would move into the husband’s parents’ home; yet, this is still a tradition that is alive in modern China. Just a single wall separates the parents’ bedroom and son and daughter-in-law’s bedroom.

My host family also emulates the traditional values of Chinese hospitality. Meals are not included in the homestay package but that has not stopped my host mother and father from cooking me up delicious meals. I believe they make the world’s best 饺子 (dumplings). The son and his wife have also invited me out to dinner and to see movies and they would never allow me to pay for anything.

Despite our age difference, I have formed a seamless friendship with my host family. It has been another incredible experience of my six months living in China.


By Tommy Sullivan, Boston College, TBC Social Media and Communications Intern and Spring 2015 Student