Reflections from Participants in the “Hefner Initiative – USA/China/Asia” 2018 Summer Program

August 7, 2018
By Lucy Carr

Two students from the Webb Schools of California and two students and one counselor from the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics participated in this year’s Hefner Initiative trip to China. The group spent twelve days in Beijing and Suzhou. Highlights of the trip included spending time with host families from Beijing High School No. 4, learning about the history and culture of China at the sites such as the Great Wall of China, the Ming Tombs, the Forbidden City, the Capital Museum, and the Humble Administrator’s Garden, and gaining a better understanding of U.S.-China relations from Dr. Tong Zhao at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center.

“I believe it is imperative that the United States and China work to strengthen communication and build stronger trust between themselves to keep their relationship positive and cooperative.” -Juliana Base, Hefner Scholar-Webb

“One of the major tourist sites is the Great Wall of China and it was my favorite part of my trip. Although it was a strenuous climb to get to the top when I arrived at the top it was worth it! The views at the top were stunning and again I met people from all over the world.  People were friendly, and we interacted with each other….I still think it is a fascinating country and am hoping that at some point I will return to China and experience more of its rich culture and the hospitality of the people.”
-Jaden Dumont, Hefner Scholar- Webb

“Essential to mitigating further conflict, Dr. Zhao and many other experts on global policy
emphasize the importance to both the United States and China of developing real, in-depth
understanding of each other.
-Cynthia Parish, Hefner Ambassador- OSSM

“I still find that sending the students to the other country to learn is a powerful experience. My two-week visit to the other country taught me so much that I could not have learned in school. So, them coming for college or us going for college can make a huge impact on how we understand each other. We can learn so much about their culture and vice versa.”
-Attaira Prince, Hefner Scholar- OSSM

“Through exchanges such as these, I believe that both Americans and Chinese people can understand how as two extremely powerful nations we need not pose threats to one another. Even if our current leaders might see each other as enemies. it is my hope that our educated and informed leaders of tomorrow can help shift the direction of our relationship to one of partnership.”
-Alejandro Lozano-De Aos, Hefner Scholar-OSSM