Wareham High School welcomes Chinese students for week of culture exchange
Some Chinese high school students are getting their first look at America, learning the language and immersing themselves in the culture, with help from Wareham families this week.
Nineteen students from China were welcomed to town on Monday as part of an exchange program that brought them to Wareham High School and the community.
Most of the students, from a foreign language school in Shijiazhuang (near Beijing), have never been to the United States before.
“I’m hoping to learn the language and how to communicate with other students,” said Weshou “Cici” Li, a 15-year-old exchange student.
Students will be staying with host families in Wareham and have been paired with a “global ambassador,” a student buddy who will show them around the school and take them into their classes. The students will spend their week celebrating Chinese New Year, volunteering, touring Harvard University and MIT and sitting in on classes at those colleges.
“It's a very meaningful two-way exchange,” said Ivy Yin, who works with BostonWise Cultural and Educational Exchange. The Harvard-based organization serves multiple functions, including facilitating academic cultural exchanges.
Though students will spend only one week in town, Wareham Public Schools Director of Global Education Maureen Manning said the visit can be impactful.
“In a short time, bonds can be made and friendships can be formed,” Manning told the students during their welcome session on Monday morning.
This is the fourth year Wareham High School has worked with BostonWise Cultural and Educational Exchange to bring students from China to Wareham. The program has recently “picked up in popularity” said Matt Stanton, the global education advisor for Wareham High School.
A group of students from Wareham High School will travel to China during the February vacation to learn about Chinese culture firsthand.
“We want to expose American students to Chinese culture and vice versa,” Stanton said.