Zhengguo Hao ’19 getting used to his new home

Garrett Hallinan

At first Zhengguo was nervous to come to Malvern, but then he realized how great of a place Malvern truly is.

It is never easy to travel out of the country, let alone leave one continent to live in another. However, when Zhengguo was in seventh grade he left China to come to the United States to find the right school.

“The belief in China is that you have to go to a good high school in order to get into a good college. Likewise, you have to go to the right middle school to go to a good high school. After I graduated from grade school, I decided to go to the U.S. to try something new,” Zhengguo said.

Zhengguo has only been a student in America for the past three years, yet he has spoken English since he was three years old.

“In China, you have to take English because it is part of the entrance exam and a big way to get into college,” Zhengguo said. “At first I learned the alphabet, and once I moved into grade school, I began speaking English inside and outside of school. Here in the U.S., I have to know English to do my work.”

When Hao left China, he was not leaving any siblings behind since he is an only child. However, he had to leave his Mom and Dad.

“About twice a month, which is not that often, I use “WeChat”, which is similar to facetime, to stay in touch with my parents,” he said.

Even though Zhengguo is away from his parents and his home country, he still gets a sense of home with other Malvern students who are from China.

Sophomore David Niu met Zhengguo at the Hershey Chocolate Factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania in August, right before the start of the school year.

“That is where our friendship began,” Niu said. “We spent the day watching movies and taking a tour of the factory.”

One of the toughest courses sophomore year is Mr. Andrew Burke’s US History class. To prepare and collaborate, Zhengguo and David study together.

“We are both in the same class for US History,” David said. “Our thoughts match each other, we agree on similar ideas, and we study at a similar pace.”

This year, Zhengguo’s favorite teacher is Spanish teacher Mr. Jose Sanchez.

“Senor Sanchez is a great guy,” Hao said. “He makes us laugh, and his class is fairly easy.”

Since the first day of school, Sanchez noticed Zhengguo’s unique dedication.

“I have a lot of dedicated students,” Sanchez said. “However since day one, Zhengguo has paid attention and written down notes on what he has to do. This has showed me that he is dedicated to the subject.”

So far, Zhengguo’s favorite memory from Malvern came from the robotics club.

“We created a robot that could climb a rope. It never worked during the competitions, but when we showed it to our classmates at the Honors Assembly, it worked for the first time!”