On Tuesday, February 2, nine juniors and an accompanying faculty member from China’s Quzhou #2 High School are arriving in the capital city. The group is spending two weeks shadowing their campus hosts at Topeka High School under the US-China Youth Ambassador Exchange Program.
These young ambassadors will immerse themselves in the life of American high school students by living with their families, attending classes and participating in after-school activities with them.
Outside of school, the visiting Chinese students will tour local 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.
Many of these visiting students and their hosts have been corresponding for the last two years through a Pen Pal program, sharing cultures and forging friendships. The Pen Pal program was initiated as a result of Benjy Zhang, now a Topeka High junior, spending two weeks in the Chinese high school two years ago. It since has been coordinated by Janie Vogel, the Chinese language instructor at Topeka High.
The US-China Youth Ambassador Exchange Program, first of its kind in Topeka, aims to exchange high school students between Chinese high schools and Topeka High to share and learn from each other’s culture through a rigorous, structured academic and cultural learning itinerary. The goal is to inspire youth to be the next generation of cultural ambassadors between US and China.
The 2016 program is co-sponsored by Quzhou #2 High School, Topeka High School, and Washburn University. Future programming includes a reciprocal study tour to China for Topeka area high school students in the summer of 2017.
For more information, please contact any of the following individuals: Janie Vogel - firstname.lastname@example.org; Andy Vogel - email@example.com; Benjy Zhang - firstname.lastname@example.org or Baili Zhang - email@example.com.