Chen Li Ng or Mia, as her friends in the U.S. call her, is living in CT and is the co-author of two songs inspired by her experience in the U.S. She and her friend, Celine won an Honorable Mention Awared in our recent Cultural Exchange competition. Mia’s counselor wrote to me about Mia and her volunteer work at a Montessori School. I wanted to know more about Mia so asked her to tell me a little bit about herself. This is what she said:
“I am a Malaysian born Chinese and will be turning 27 in December. I went to Monash University in Melbourne for a year as a cultural exchange student in 2008. I loved it so much and since then I have always wanted to do another cultural exchange.
I arrived in U.S. in December 2012 and time flies which I don’t even feel it because I am having so much fun even though there are times when I miss home.The support and encouragement from my community counselor (Chris Sherman), friends and host family have all been helpful during my time in the U.S.
I was a kindergarten teacher back home and I taught children aged 4 and 5. I believe it is a calling to work with children and it is my passion to teach and learn with the children. Setting up my own childcare centre is my career goal in three year’s time.
America is a great country. Being an Au Pair in America has indeed been an eye opener. Meeting new people such as the locals and Au Pairs from all over the countries has expanded my horizons. I enjoy the weather so much as we don’t have four seasons in Malaysia. More importantly I am living with a very supportive host family (Chan) who take good care of me. Apart from that, I get to travel to different parts of America throughout the year is the most exciting journey I am looking forward.
Though it was only three months, but I have learned so much. My English definitely is improving day by day, my confidence have boosted up and I am learning so much about the upbringing of American children. Ellie and Katie (my host kids) taught me knitting which I have never done in my life. Being able to share my culture such as Chinese, musical knowledge, abacus to Ellie and Katie has been a great joy. I also volunteer three days in a week at the Montessori School in Redding and it is indeed a golden opportunity and I am having a great time with the children and the helpful teachers.
Currently i am taking American Sign Language class at Norwalk Community College as part of my credit course. I have always wanted to learn sign language as a personal enrichment and Au Pair In America has given me the best opportunity to do so.
Taking the first step to leave everything behind back home is the hardest thing and almost everyone told me that i am too old for this program and should be focusing on my career but i have no regret for coming to America as an Au Pair and it is going to be an awesome experience and a memorable one.
Thank you Au Pair in America for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream.”