Lok Yi Li is from China, and has been studying for four weeks in our English Plus Music program. While in Boston she has had the opportunity to attend many concerts at Boston’s famed music halls and practice her violin skills along with her English. Lok Yi is also known around ELC for her new love of the Boston Bruins and ice skating!
Where were you born and raised? Give us a mental picture of the place.
I was born in Hong Kong, but I grew up in China in a big city. I liked growing up in a big city because there is always something fun to do.
What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?
I like dancing, mostly hip hop and jazz. I have been dancing for almost two years, and have been taking classes. Maybe I will take a class while I am here in Boston.
What is your special talent?
I play violin. I don’t have any hidden talents, I just like dancing and playing the violin.
What is your profession? What do you like about it?
I am a high school student back home. I like being a student because I can always learn something new everyday. When I graduate I hope to go to Berklee College of Music in Boston and study songwriting and performing. I want to learn vocal performance too, but for now, I just perform with the violin. It would be nice to go to Berklee because then I could be in Boston.
Tell us about your family, do you have kids? Siblings? Pets? Do they live close to you?
I live with my mom and dad and my older sister goes to film school in Australia. My parents like to perform the Chinese traditional arts, but they are not artists. We are an artistic family, but only my sister and I are artists. I don’t have any pets, but I really want a cat!
Why did you choose to study English in Boston? Did you consider other options?
I wanted to come to Boston because I want to go to Berklee for university, so I think it is a good idea to come and see Boston and live here. I always knew that I really wanted to come to Boston, and study at Berklee, so I was very excited to come to here. I am looking at other schools, but they are all in Boston because I love how artistic this city is.
What are all the ways that Boston is different than your city/town?
In Boston, people are very relaxed compared to Hong Kong and China. At home people are always working and working and I don’t miss that! I like the relaxed city, back home everything is so fast.
What were you most surprised to learn about the US or Boston? Did you experience any culture shock?
People don’t follow the street lights! If the sign is red, everyone just walks anyways. People don’t follow the street rules, both driving and walking. The only culture shock I experienced was when I first went to my host family’s home and they didn’t take their shoes off. They wear their shoes inside the house.
What do you miss most about your country?
Back home we can pay for everything with our phones, it is very easy. Whenever we need to pay, we can just tap our phones.
What are your top three favorite places in Boston?
My first favorite place in Boston is ELC! My second favorite place is the Boston Common because I like ice skating. I bought my own ice skates here to bring home and to practice. I really want to play ice skating. My third favorite place is the TD Garden because that is where I got to watch the Bruins, my favorite team!
Where have you found the best food from your country in Boston?
I have not found it yet! The best food I have found in Boston is the tuna sandwich at the deli across the street from ELC. That is my favorite so far. There are many other things from there that I want to try.
Favorite moment in class at ELC:
My favorite moment was my first conversation with the staff. We had very fun conversations and I learned a lot on my first day.
Favorite activity at ELC:
I love ice skating at the Common! I also went to the Institute of Contemporary Art, which was interesting. I also take many music lessons on Newbury street and attend many concerts for my program (English Plus Music). I did not expect to get to go to so many concerts in Boston!
What are some tips you have for people who want to learn English?
I think it is best for people who want to learn English to go to a country that speaks English. It is the best way to practice, better than learning in your own country. Advice I have for students who are coming to ELC is to relax. You will make friends and learn English.
What are your plans after ELC?
I will keep studying music and English back home at school. Then I will come back in the summer for Berklee’s summer junior program, and I will come visit ELC!