DIXFIELD — Yan “Krystal” Xintong likes shepherd’s pie and pasta, shopping at Walmart and swimming in the local lake.

Krystal, the American name she chose as an exchange student from China, arrived in the United States in August and is a junior at Dirigo High School. She lives with Rick and Marilee Colpitts and their daughter, Abby, in Peru. Abby is a senior at Dirigo.

“I came here to improve my English and to learn something new,” Krystal said. “It’s a good experience.”

The Colpitts family hosted a foreign exchange student from Germany a couple of years ago. With most of her older brothers and sisters no longer living at home, Abby said she likes having someone younger living with the family.

Before Krystal came to the U.S., she and Abby emailed to get to know each other.

“I’m having lots of fun here,” said Krystal, who is considering attending college in the United States.

“I love America. It’s lovely, and the people are nice,” she said.

She plans to cook some Chinese food for her host family, such as a soup with wontons, broth and vegetables.

Abby and Krystal often compare various aspects of their cultures.

Krystal said classes are easier in the United States than in China. She will be required to repeat her junior year when she returns home.

Among the many unusual things Krystal is experiencing are the stars.

“They are gorgeous. We can’t see them at home,” she said.

She also has been impressed by sheep grazing in the fields.

She hopes to play softball in the spring and be part of the backstage crew for the high school’s drama program.

Abby plans to attend college to major in elementary education when she graduates in June.

Both of Krystal’s parents are doctors, so she thinks she’ll go into some field of biology as well.

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