Topeka, Kan. – Sixteen students and two accompanying faculty from China’s Quzhou #2 High School will spend two weeks in Topeka under the U.S. - China Youth Ambassador Exchange Program. They will shadow campus hosts at Topeka High School, Hayden High School and Seaman High School. These young ambassadors will immerse themselves in the life of American high school students by living with host families while attending classes and participating in after-school activities with their campus hosts. The Chinese students and faculty will arrive Saturday, Feb. 17.
Outside of school, the visiting students will tour local cultural attractions such as the Governor’s Mansion, the State Capitol, Kansas Historical Society and the Kansas City area. Their itinerary also includes spending a day at Washburn University, where they will visit classes and interact with students.
Some of these visiting students and their campus hosts at Topeka High have been corresponding for the last year through a pen pal program, sharing cultures and forging friendships. The pen pal program was initiated four years ago and has since been coordinated by Janie Vogel, the Chinese instructor at Topeka High.
The U.S. - China Youth Ambassador Exchange program, the first of its kind in Kansas, aims to bring high school students from China and the United States together to share their cultures and learn about each other’s high school life. The goal is to help inspire more youth to be the next generation of ambassadors between the United States and China. It is also hoped that those involved will be more likely to pursue their education or even careers in an international setting.
The Youth Ambassador Exchange Program, co-sponsored by Washburn University, Topeka High School and Quzhou #2 High School, was first launched in 2016 when nine students and one teacher from Quzhou visited Topeka High School. Eight Topeka-area students and two accompanying teachers reciprocated the exchange during spring break in 2017.
Editor’s Note: You may find more details on previous exchanges in the following two reports: CJ Online reported on the trip: http://cjonline.com/news/local/2017-04-09/washburn-study-abroad-program-starts-exchange-high-school-students. The Ichabod Magazine featured the program in their fall 2017 issue on page 7: https://www.wualumni.org/the-ichabod.
For more information, please contact any of the following individuals: Janie Vogel - firstname.lastname@example.org; Andy Vogel - email@example.com; Amber Schmidt firstname.lastname@example.org, and Baili Zhang - email@example.com.