Chinese students bid farewell to Wareham friends at cultural celebration
Chinese exchange students at Wareham High School and Wareham Middle School said farewell to their American friends on Friday afternoon with a cultural celebration featuring food, music and lots of dancing.
The fifteen students arrived in Wareham on Monday, Feb. 11, after two weeks traveling with BostonWise, a Cambridge-based educational program.
Washington D.C. and New York City were just two of the stops the foreign students made on their way to Wareham where volunteer host families awaited their arrival.
This is the fourth year that Chinese exchange students have visited the town through BostonWise, which also sends Wareham students to China.
Once settled in, the exchange students were paired up with “buddies” in the Wareham school system to shadow during classes.
“Its an immersive experience for both students,” said Wareham Middle School teacher Nichole Stahmer.
Stahmer has been a host parent with the BostonWise program for all four years, welcoming two Chinese students into her home each time.
“I try to show them what a normal American day is like,” she said. “And it’s an extremely rewarding experience. I feel I get as much out of it as I put in.”
From visiting Plymouth to climbing the rock wall at the Gleason Family YMCA, students found something new to enjoy each day.
This week also marked the first time that many of the Chinese students saw snow.
“Its always an amazing time,” said Wareham High School Principal Scott Palladino. “We’re hopeful that some of them might come back to enroll full time next year.”
Another batch of BostonWise Chinese students is expected to visit Wareham this spring, and Stahmer said more host families are in demand.
“If anyone wants to help out, we’d greatly appreciate,” said said.