Last week a group of 30 high school students participating in Americans Promoting Study Abroad stopped by the Project Pengyou courtyard to learn more about our mission.
The group was composed of students from New York, Honolulu, Seattle, Houston and other cities across the United States who have shown an early interest in learning Chinese, as well as the importance of China-US relations. In addition to Project Pengyou, they visited other NGOs and companies in Beijing in an effort to learn more about living and working in China.
Before a presentation on the Project Pengyou mission and programs, such as our Leadership Training Summits and Project Pengyou Chapters, by senior program manager Alyssa Farrelly, other team members shared their personal China story with the group as a source of inspiration and knowledge. After the presentation, the students had a chance to ask more in-depth questions both about Project Pengyou and furthering their studies in China. We were able to give more information about starting a Project Pengyou chapter, participating in the Leadership Training, and enriching your education through international experiences.
Many of the students said their loved ones questioned why they would want to go to China, as opposed to more traditional options like France or Mexico. These students wanted to come to China out of cultural interest, or to go against the grain. Many of the stereotypes they held before they came to China were broken down, and several students said they would miss the food and the culture of their new home. Many were excited to put their language skills to use in America, at Chinese restaurants or their local China Town.
We hope everyone participating in the program has a wonderful remainder of their stay in Beijing and can share the lessons learned here with family and friends back home!
Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA) develops programs designed to create opportunities for American high school students who otherwise would not be able to study abroad. APSA currently provides 85 scholarships to public high schools to study in Beijing, China.