Students get chance for US trip
Updated: 2012-08-01 10:43
By Luo Wangshu (China Daily)
A program gives Chinese youths from low-income families a chance to study in the US
Tian Ke's face glowed with excitement as he talked about his upcoming trip to the United States.
"I can't wait to visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For students majoring in science and engineering, MIT is a dream," the 21-year-old said with glowing eyes. "It is my first time traveling abroad."
Tian is a junior student from the University of Science and Technology of China, majoring in information science. A native of Xiushan county in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality, Tian has received financial aid for the trip.
"My family can't afford to give me financial support to travel abroad," said Tian.
Tian's father is a middle school teacher and his mother runs a small business.
With 24 other Chinese university students from low-income families, Tian will depart from Beijing on Wednesday to start his US study camp.
The study camp, called "Rainbow Bridge", provides students a short-term overseas study opportunity, aiming to bring intercultural experiences to students from poor families.
Two students from public high schools in the United States learn Peking Opera at the No 35 Middle School in Beijing on July 31, 2012. [Photo/China Daily]
The project is organized by the China Next Generation Education Foundation, Bank of China and Americans Promoting Study Abroad, a nonprofit organization in Washington.
The project also subsidizes a study camp for 25 US high school students coming to China. These students are all from public high schools in the US.
"Youth is the future of our society. It is important for them to look at the world with a global vision, and an overseas study tour is one of the good ways to achieve this goal," said Tian Shulan, director of China Next Generation Education Foundation, adding that Rainbow Bridge builds a communication platform for young people from China and the US.
"It is enterprises' social responsibility to help improve education, and this project gives us an opportunity to fulfill our commitment to subsidizing students from low-income families," said Li Lihui, president of Bank of China, sponsor for the project.
Tian and his peers, from 17 different areas across the country, are the first group of lucky students. They will stay in the US until Aug 21, visiting Harvard, Yale and other prestigious universities, and experiencing US culture.
These students are selected from those who are receiving the government subsidy from top Chinese universities. They have undergone a selection process based on multiple criteria, including academic performance and English skills.
"They will attend seminars at Harvard with local students, and take part in student activities as well," Hou Qian, a lead teacher of the Chinese students' group, also a staff member of China Next Generation Education Foundation, told China Daily.
"They will also visit local hospitals to explore the US medical system and visit museums to further understand Western arts and history," Hou added.
Their US counterparts started their journey in China on June 30, and will return to the US on Aug 8.
Khailynn Baker, an African American girl from Washington Latin Public Charter School, said she is very much enjoying her days in China.
"It is fantastic to have people speaking Chinese around me," the 16-year-old said, adding that she took Chinese courses at school, and it is the first time for her to use Chinese in her daily life.
"I'd love to come again," she said.
"We assist students who may not able to go abroad by themselves," said Ted Dean, chairman of Americans Promoting Study Abroad, adding that he has worked on this mission for four years and has brought more than 100 US students from public schools to China.