In Depth: Miles from home

By By Ana Breton

By Ana Breton

Doris Kwan considers herself a shy person. She prefers to keep to herself and when she talks — if at all — she speaks with a small, soft voice.

That is until you start talking with her about fashion.

Kwan is an international student from Hong Kong. She thinks the Utah fashion scene is a little dry. People in Hong Kong know color and use it, she said.

During the interview, Kwan was sporting leopard-print high heels she bought at Claire’s, a gray, ruffled blouse from Hong Kong and sparkly, bright pink eye shadow.

The prices of clothes back home, she said, are far cheaper than those she’s found in Utah stores.

Kwan, a sophomore in business, has lived in Utah for two years, because her aunt — who has lived in the state for 30 years — told her that Utah was a better place to study and had a good university system.

Her life before was situated in Hong Kong, the financial trading and business district of China located in the southeastern tip of the country.

“When I got off the plane, I didn’t like it,” Kwan said. “It’s a boring place and the weather is dry, but I’m used to it now.”

“Utah is different, but it’s nice,” agreed Queenie Yu, Kwan’s friend who has lived in Utah for three weeks.

Prior to coming to the U, Kwan attended both Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College. She said she likes the U’s “university life.”

Still, she said there are things she misses at home, such as her family. She has a 24-year-old sister back home who works for a customer relations company. She also said she misses her dad, who is a tour guide in China.

Kwan said every night she makes long distance calls to her mother, who is thousands of miles away.

But Kwan likes the freedom that comes with living on your own. During her time away from school, she enjoys singing karaoke, cooking and watching scary movies. Her favorite movies are the Scream series.

She also likes to hang out with her friends, most of whom are from Hong Kong. Hanging out and having dinner with her friends serves as a language outlet, Kwan said, because she doesn’t speak Chinese or Cantonese with anyone else.

“English is hard sometimes,” Kwan said. “I want to speak more English, but I really want to talk in Cantonese.”

Kwan goes back to China every summer.

After she graduates, Kwan said she hopes to work for “something related for business,” and then travel back home.

She said she used to study business in Hong Kong when she was in secondary school.

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