Chinese Exchange Student Raises the Bar

Foreign exchange student Lejing Xu has received a wealth of honors from her host school over the course of the past year, and has most recently walked away with a few accolades that have the teachers and families of Grandville, MI beaming over her accomplishments.

Over the course of the last ten months, Lejing has reinvented the standard for academic excellence at host high school, scoring not only a perfect 1600 hundred on her SAT, but becoming the first female student in the history of Grandville High to score a perfect 100% in her AP Calculus class and come in first out of 453 students with a stunning 4.6 GPA. A well disciplined and extremely outgoing student, teachers at Grandville have been quoted saying that Lejing is not only one of the most advanced students in the school, but has also come to be known and loved for her kindness, friendliness, and outgoing personality.

When asked about her experience as a host mother, Sheryl Blair was happy to say that it was one of the best experiences her family has ever had, and that the time they spent with Lejing is something that her family will treasure for many years. “Having Lejing was just phenomenal,” said Blair. “Everyone loves her. She has impacted our lives greatly. She has taught our grandkids to speak Chinese and even to use chopsticks. I know they will never forget her.”

Sheryl said that they were inspired to become host parents when they met Dawn Martinson, the Regional Manager for ISE’s Central Mid West region, at an expo where Dawn had set up her annual booth for promoting the program. “We love working with kids,” said Blair, “so we had tried several times to become a foster family, but for one reason or another it never worked out. Then when we saw Dawn’s info, we thought we would give it a chance. It was a great decision, and the program has been positive beyond our wildest expectations.”

Lejing is described as a very studious and regimented student. In her home country, she attends a boarding school and only comes home for visits on the weekends. She is also a diligent piano player, and often gives recitals at her school. In Michigan, Lejing has played at several benefits where she was able to raise over one thousand dollars and sell over fifty copies of her CD. “She is a tremendous musician. Her playing is more advanced than I have seen for a student her age,” said a local music teacher at Grandville.

The Blair family and Lejing are trying to prepare for her departure, which will take place within the next three weeks. “We are hoping that she will come back and see us again,” said Blair. “She was the best there ever could be.”

Congratulations to Lejing for her accomplishments We at ISE would like to wish the Blairs a happy and safe holiday weekend, and Lejing a safe trip home.