From January 31 to February 12, SSM welcomed a group of special visitors on exchange from Guilin, Guangxi Province, China. It is the third time SSM held the exchange program between Shattuck St. Mary’s School and the Foreign Language School Attached to Guangxi Normal University. This year eleven students and one leading teacher from the International Department of Foreign Language School Attached to Guangxi Normal University joined this exchange program and came to the US from China. They stayed at SSM for about two weeks to experience American high school education.
To help the visitors have a better experience in SSM, eleven SSM student leaders were responsible for their study and lives. Their studies started on February 1 when SSM had a late start for student leaders to meet their students and introduce their schedules. There were a total of three sets of schedule for students to choose. Student leaders showed them their classrooms on the first day. In the evening there was a welcome party in the SMH StuLo. On February 6, they went to Medford Outlet Mall in the morning and watched the game between Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls at Target Centre. On February 7, they shopped at Mall of America. On February 10, they skated in the Old Rink. On February 11, they presented their Final Project Speech in WeCreate.
The WeCreate presentations were about the differences between the US and China from their perspectives. They divided into four groups to talk about the differences between food, festivals, education, and architecture. Later they had a Cookfest in SMH Dining Hall where they made dumplings for Spring Festival. On February 12, there was a Goodbye Party in US Stulo where student leaders and they enjoyed a big cake and said goodbye to each other. And then they went to the new rink to watch a hockey game. One student, Sharon, said, “It is a really interesting winter camp. I enjoyed skating and shopping.”
February 8 was Spring Festival, the biggest festival in China. Joining the exchange program meant these students could not have Spring Festival with their families this year. Explaining why they were willing to come to US during Spring Festival, Sharon thought spending the Spring Festival abroad was a special and cool experience. She experienced American education for this winter break, which was more meaningful than staying at home. Talking about the biggest differences from China, Nancy said they were food and the number of students in a class. Talking about the plans of future, most students said they were preparing to attend universities abroad, like in the US, the UK, Canada or Australia.
Next month, SSM will welcome a group of visitors from Japan. The exchange programs are beneficial for both SSM and the visitors to understand the different cultures and have the world vision.
–Kelly Zhou ’18