Melody is a 22 year old graduate student from Taiwan. She has just arrived in the United States for a master's program in architecture at the University of Kansas. Growing up in Taiwan, English is Melody's second language and she finds it difficult to converse fluently with native speakers in the U.S.
Melody knows few Chinese speakers and misses her social life back in Taiwan. Without a car, she finds it difficult to meet up with the few friends she has at school.
A typical day
Melody takes the campus escort to school where she has a full day of classes. She meets up with her friends after class and study together until dinner. Then, she either takes the bus home or grabs dinner with friends around campus.
Thomas White is a 40 year old American from Texas. He is married to a Taiwanese woman and moved to Taiwan recently with his wife, where he found a job teaching History at an American International school. Thomas has two children (aged 6 and 8) and lives in an apartment building in downtown Taipei. He misses the food and sports back in America and finds it difficult to converse with locals in his broken Mandarin.
Thomas also finds it difficult to find authentic Tex-Mex food in Taipei, and often resorts to making the food himself when he has time. His Taiwanese co-workers have introduced him to some American restaurants in Taiwan, but few of these restaurants live up to his standards. Thomas wishes he could enjoy a good draft beer at a bar while watching the Cowboys sack the Redskins in football.
A typical day
Thomas walks to the subway station from his apartment with his son and daughter, where he takes the train and drops his kids off at school. He has classes in the morning and spends the rest of the day grading papers and attending meetings. At around 5:30, he takes the train back home with his kids, where he has dinner together with his family.
Sacide is a 28 year old Turkish immigrant. She came to the U.S. in 2003, got her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Phoenix and now has a position as an assistant professor at the College of Business at the University of Texas. She is single, and her family is still living in Istanbul where she visits them about once a year. She misses her family, but she enjoys living in Dallas.
She is outgoing and has many friends, mostly Americans. Since she does not follow the traditional Turkish lifestyle, she feels that she doesn't connect well with other Turkish immigrant women. However, she likes exchanging experiences with her Turkish friends back home via Skype. She loves to exercise and cares about food quality. She misses authentic Middle Eastern food, especially Turkish food. Her favorite dish is Püf Börek.
A typical day
Sacide gets up at 6am, goes running for 1h, showers, eats a large breakfast, and then takes the tram to work. As she gets to school, she responds to email, and then gives a lecture on Financial Statement Analysis. She gets lunch with her colleagues at one of the restaurants off campus. In the afternoon, she meets with her Ph.D. students and continues working on a grant application.
She finishes work around 7pm, and meets up with a few friends to get dinner and watch a movie at the local cinema.