Butler student adjusts from China to Oak Brook
Sixth-grader Daniel Yang spent 3 1/2 years living with his family in China before moving to Oak Brook and enrolling at Butler Junior High. | Chuck Fieldman—Staff Writer
Name: Daniel Yang
Favorite food: chicken wings
Favorite video game: League of Legends
Career aspiration: video game designer
Favorite television show: Adventure Time
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:07AM
OAK BROOK — Daniel Yang’s “field trip” took him out of the country for more than three years.
It finished with him returning to a new school in a different community.
But the Butler Junior High sixth-grader seems to be doing just fine after living with his family in Shanghai, China for 3 ½ years. He lived in Naperville before going to China.
“I was glad to move back,” Daniel said. “At first, I was kind of nervous, mostly because I was moving away from friends I had made there and coming to a new place to live and a new school.”
Daniel said being at Butler Junior high and living in Oak Brook hasn’t been a difficult adjustment for him. Butler Principal Stephanie Palmer agreed, based on what she has seen.
“I think the social aspect is very challenging,” she said. “It’s better once you get involved in things here, and Daniel is on our cross country team. Sixth-grade also was a perfect time for him to make a move like this. It’s a transitional year for all of our students because they’re coming to a new school.”
Daniel attended an international school while living in China. English was the main spoken language among a student body whose members had come from different places around the globe. As a foreign language, Daniel took Mandarin. He is continuing with that study at Butler by using an online course.
“I feel it could be a bit of an advantage for me knowing Mandarin later in life,” he said.
Rarely having any snow is one of the major differences Daniel experienced in China. Being a kid wasn’t much different than it is in Oak Brook.
“There are some little things there that are very different; the air is really polluted, and people spit everywhere,” he said. “They dressed a little differently, but I had my friends I made there, and I had a cat and dog. I miss my friends, but I keep in-touch with them on Skype. I miss my cat and dog; we gave them away to someone when we moved.”
Playing video games and attending carnivals on weekends are pastimes Daniel enjoyed in China and intends to continue. He listened to quite a bit of music while on 45-minute bus rides each way to school, but has greatly reduced his interest in music since returning.
“My mom told us a couple of times we were moving back, and then we didn’t move back,” Daniel said. “I was excited when we finally did move back because it’s my home, and I get to see snow.”~.