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Gift ideas for Chinese host family?

Apollo6Apollo6 Posts: 1,533Registered User Senior Member
edited July 2012 in China
My son will be studying for a year at Beijing High School #80 in the international student division. He will spend weekends and vacations with the family of a boy in the native student division. I am guessing that the other student will not be in the last year of his course because those students must spend too much time studying for college entrance exams to host a foreign student. Do you have any suggestions of American gifts for a teenage boy, his parents and grandparents that my son could bring with him? Should he take small items for his teachers as well?
Post edited by Apollo6 on

Replies to: Gift ideas for Chinese host family?

  • henryvlihenryvli Posts: 62Registered User Junior Member
    Bring some chocolates that you can buy from Wal-mart. Trust me on this, it works very well.

    And cultural-wise, Chinese students gives their teacher money every year (it's called Red Envelope in Chinese), but for you I think chocolate works.
  • mermaidgirl626mermaidgirl626 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    Im a current student at your son's future school. I gave my host family nice chocolates and American brand alcohol. While I wouldn't suggest alcohol because of the NSLI-Y rules, American brands of chocolate are expensive here and considered high quality. I would suggest not buying any big-city American tourist kitsch because there are bargain markets here that reproduce even American college shirts for a fraction of the price. I'm a new yorker, and I've seen so many people here wearing NYPD hats who probably have no idea what it stands for. If your son is willing to go out of the way before meeting his host family, picking up fresh flowers would be a nice gesture. Also, any local snacks from where you live (ex: salt water taffy) that is easily portable and stays well would be a good idea (we call them xiao chi here and host families love to put them out to eat along with fresh fruit usually). I would highly recommend not giving them red envelopes as it would likely embarass them. I would also suggest bringing small gifts for friends the first few days in the dorms, like your favorite snack from America, some English magazines or books to lend out. If you'd like any more information please feel free to get in touch with me on this site!
  • Apollo6Apollo6 Posts: 1,533Registered User Senior Member
    Thank you for the ideas! Chocolates seems so difficult to transport during summer but we'll think about that. We haven't bought gifts for my son's host family yet since he won't leave until August. My daughter leaves sooner. She will be staying with a host family in China this summer. She anticipates having a host sister. Do you think earrings or a necklace would be okay as a gift? She was thinking about bringing brownie mix and goldfish crackers, possibly small decorative bottles of U.S. "celebrity" perfume. What do you think?
  • MD MomMD Mom Posts: 6,728Registered User Senior Member
    My daughter took these one-handed, American-made salad tongs to Japan as gifts and they loved them.

    WOOD WORKS - Kentucky Made and More

    They pack really well, are moderately priced, and made here. Wooohooo.

    I also have put all ingredients for chocolate chip cookies, minus the eggs and butter, in a Ziploc bag, and write the directions on the outside of the bag. It makes a fun American treat for once they are in the country.
  • zipzipzipzip Posts: 29Registered User New Member
    American products are super popular...Chocolate (like everyone said)..or something cheesy and ultra American that you wouldn't buy except for at a tourist shop (like a statue of liberty photo)...
  • Apollo6Apollo6 Posts: 1,533Registered User Senior Member
    It seems like chocolates would melt, considering that he will be leaving at the end of August but he could take a high quality brownie mix to make for his host family or some nutella. His sister just left and those are some of the things she packed. What do you think?
  • EveningSwanEveningSwan Posts: 421Registered User Member
    I would suggest to bring brownie mix that doesn't require butter or milk since I don't think there is butter in China (atleast everyone I come across has no idea what butter is, much less tasted it before), and milk is expensive. For the grandparents, vitamins such as fish oil and what not are good gifts because vitamins in China are often fake or are extremely expensive. American brand clothing(like Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, Crocs etc....) also work well....if you knew their size.......
  • mtgmackidmtgmackid Posts: 28Registered User New Member
    Here is what our family usually brings back to China for our relatives (I'm Chinese but I've lived in CA my entire life)

    Ferrero Rocher boxes
    Almonds/Macadamias
    Red Wine
    Dried fruit/nut medley bags
    Vitamins (as mentioned above... Vitamins in China are often fake and a lot of Chinese just don't buy them usually) Gummy Vites for kids, Centrum for adults

    It's also good to buy name brand clothing (not neccessarily expensive stuff, just stuff that would be harder to find authentic versions of in China) such as a Ralph Lauren polo or a nice handbag.
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