Small-town hospitality made a big impression on Nicole, coming from one of China’s largest cities

Nicole transferred from a university in one of the largest cities in the world (Beijing, China – over 21 million) to continue her bachelor’s degree in a rural Ohio town, with just less than 90,000 residents.

Soon after she arrived in 2017, she signed up for IFI’s English Conversation Club to improve her speaking ability.

“I could hardly communicate with Americans at first,” Nicole said. “My English has improved a lot since I came to Muskingum University.”

There she met IFI staff, Darrell and Susan, and began a friendship that led to dinners together
and shared holidays. The following Labor Day, Darrell invited Nicole and 16 other international students to a hog roast that one of his friends hosts each year.

“I was excited and curious about it,” said Nicole. “I had never been to a hog roast before.”

Nicole and her international classmates enjoyed trying the roasted pork, beans, corn, salad, and other traditional American foods.

“I think Christians are always nice people, friendly and inclusive. They treat me like a best friend.”

The evening ended with visiting cows on a nearby farm and viewing the brilliant stars — a beauty not viewable from the big cities the students came from.