April 7, 2016
By Metra Nichols
The “Hefner Initiative – USA/China/Asia” 2016 program comprises of an approximate 10-day cultural experience in Beijing and Suzhou, China this summer.
The participants this year are: Zach Arani and Ritvik Ganguly – Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, Kaitlin Hawkes and Raphael Huang – The Webb Schools, California, Eileen Egolf – Creede High School, Colorado, Blair Amberly-Free Union Country School, Virginia, and Mark Li-Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.
The student participants stay with local host families of students from Beijing High School No. 4 in Beijing, China, experiencing first-hand the daily lifestyle of the host families and students. They will learn about the importance of cultural-awareness and diversity from interacting directly with their hosts and peers from another important part of the world.
This program provides each participant the opportunity to learn about China, the culture, and her people. The group will tour the ancient city’s landmarks such as The Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China, along with visiting Beijing’s museums of art and history.
Upon returning to the United States, each participant will reflect on their experience in writing a post-trip essay with pictorial references from their travels, and give a presentation to their class and school as part of the program to promote an understanding of the importance of long-term, positive, USA and China, and Asia relations.