Wong explores art and culture through travel

Before Katie Wong ’16 moved to Westport for the start of her sophomore year of high school, she lived more than 20 hours away in Singapore. Despite describing the two places as “complete opposites,” she was able to transition without much difficulty.

“Singapore is definitely different from Westport because it’s a lot more stereotypically Asian,” Wong said.

Wong laughed as she discussed the differences in environment and people between her former country and Westport. She said the biggest difference between the two places was the amount of diversity. “Singapore prides itself on lots of diversity and intercultural mixing. Westport is a small New England town in which all of the people are basically white,” Wong said.

Aside from diversity, Wong thinks Singapore is an overall much stricter place. She mentioned how people aren’t allowed to chew gum because it’s against the law, and how she had to wear a uniform to school. Since attending Staples, she has enjoyed wearing whatever she wants to school, sporting fashion styles inspired from magazines, movies/tv but mostly from her friends and Instagram.

Wong didn’t have many difficulties adjusting to her new, divergent town when she began at Staples for her Sophomore year. She partly credited her smooth transition to an American International School she attended back in Singapore. She also acknowledged Staples students for helping her adjust to a new environment. “I made a lot of friends early on, who were nice enough to show me around and take me places and explain things. Certain things like homecoming, football games and snow were all very new to me,” Wong said.

“A lot of teachers and students ask me weird questions, like if I speak English or if Dr. Wong is my dad. While I think it’s funny, it was totally unexpected coming from a place where I would have never been asked if I spoke English because I’m Asian,” Wong said laughing.

Wong has a great interest in history, art and fashion and has made the most of her opportunities to pursue her passions at her new school. Since coming to Staples, Wong has enrolled herself in AP Art and various AP History classes.

Although she doesn’t plan on pursuing a career in art, Wong plans on pursuing a minor in art next year at American University. Wong also plans on studying social studies and international affairs.

“I find it really interesting to look back and just see what things were like. I think it’s fun to look at how past events influence things today and [look at] what started different events,” she said smiling.