Hongxu and Hongyu Lin Moved to the US from China


Credit to Andrew Poertner

Hongxu and Hongyu Lin pose together for a photo. The brothers came to the US from China when they were 14 years old. Both twins enjoy living in the US. “I’ve gotten a good education, an open experience, and have broadening view,” Hongyu said.

When twins Hongxu and Hongyu Lin were 14 years old, they had to set off from their home in China and travel to the U.S. Despite having time needed to get used to the customs of the US, they’re now well adjusted and happy to be here.

“I was born in Fujian,” Hongxu said. “I lived with my Grandma for a long time, and my parents had been [in the US] for a while. My Mom lived in the US for longer than she had in China. When my Grandma died, they wanted us to come live with them so they could take care of me.”

Neither twin knows exactly why their parents came to the U.S. before them, but they don’t care much about why. Rather than focusing on the past, the twins are more interested in what’s happening now.

“I never asked, and they never told me,” Hongxu remarked when asked about why his parents moved here. “It’s kind of strange, but I don’t really ask questions, cause I don’t think they are important. Current situation is more important. And to be honest with you, I’m just lazy.”

The twins first lived in Philadelphia when they came to the U.S. After a few months, they came to St. Charles to live with their family. Many things were different in the US from China, but the twins quickly realized that the differences were expected and quickly got used to them.

“I don’t feel a lot of emotional stuff. [Moving] wasn’t harder than I thought it’d be, but it’s not easier than I thought it’d be either,” Hongyu said. “It’s a brand new place we’ve never been before and a lot different from China, but you just get used to it.”

Among the differences, school was a big one that the twins quickly realized. Rather than a very formal, strict education like China values, the twins had a seemingly casual, open education that focused on different skills. 

“[School in China] had more rules. More rules, more time, more school days. More homework out of school,” Hongxu said. “In the U.S., they’re all friendly. I talked to teachers a lot at first.”

Coming to the U.S. right as they were finishing up middle school, the twins had a lot to overcome in order to become adjusted to U.S. life. Outside of school, their family helped them a lot, especially their siblings.

“Honestly, my little brother and little sister helped me the most,” Hongxu said. “My Mom would take me out to dinner to see how the restaurant to show like how to order. It just made me more experienced.” 

Now, the twins like life in the U.S. more than they thought they would. Although there are some aspects of China they miss, they like many things about the U.S. 

“It’s harder in China to get a job or something,” Hongyu said. “You can know more too. The knowledge is free. You can say anything you want. There’s more freedom here. Now I have a lot of good memories here.”