"Shared Journey of Friendship" U.S.Youth Exchange Delegation Visits Hebei
Jul 10,2024 Great Wall New Media

A "Shared Journey of Friendship" U.S. Youth Exchange Delegation made up of 190 students and teachers from 14 high schools in seven states of the United States visited Shijiazhuang, capital city of north China's Hebei Province From July 4-6. They toured the Shijiazhuang Foreign Language School, the Hebei Museum, and the Shijiazhuang Central Green Sports Park, and paired with Chinese students in exploring, learning, and experiencing the charm of Chinese culture.

It was learned that the members of the delegation come from such schools as the Lincoln High School from Washington, the Muscatine High School from Iowa, the North Niles High School from Illinois, the Archbishop Riordan High School from California, and the Phillips Academy Andover from Massachusetts, aged between 15 and 18.

A Sino-American Youth Dialogue event themed "Dialogue on the Future" was held at Shijiazhuang Foreign Language School. Photo by Liu Zunshuan

On the afternoon of July 4, the delegation attended a Sino-American Youth Dialogue on the future at the Shijiazhuang Foreign Language School. They delved into such topics as climate change, sustainable development, and future education. The event has drawn the students of the two countries closer together.

Chinese and American students jointly present their achievements after discussion. Photo by Liu Zunshuan

"A couple of my friends came to China back in April from Muscatine also and they really enjoyed the trip. They told me that if I got the chance, I should go. Then I got the chance and I applied, and I got in," said Meliah Ann Martin from the High School Muscatine. She wanted to see a real China with her own eyes, so she and her sister submitted their applications and came to China.

Meliah Ann Martin found that American and Chinese students have a lot in common. They are friendly, enthusiastic, and willing to share, providing her with a lot of help. Seeing is believing, and she plans to share her experiences in China with more friends and encourage them to visit China.

Chinese and American students collaborate to create a hundred-meter-long scroll painting together. Photo by Liu Zunshuan

At the Hebei Museum, Jacob, a student from the Lincoln High School, Washington, expressed his keen interest in Chinese history and culture. Seeing some national treasures, such as the Gold-threaded Jade Garment and the Changxin Palace Lamp, he said they had opened his eyes and gave him a greater understanding of China.

The exchange delegation students experienced shadow puppetry performances at the Hebei Museum. Photo by Liu Zunshuan

"I've been to a lot of museums, and by far, the Chinese one has blown them out of the water," Jacob said.

Lynn Eisenhower, a music teacher from the Lincoln High School, has brought students to China five times. She has taught her students to sing Chinese songs such as "In the Fields of Hope" and "Jasmine." In her view, American students visiting China is a great opportunity to learn about Chinese culture, allowing them to "see the world in a new and different way."

The exchange group students took to the stage to sing and dance. Photo by Liu Zunshuan

On the evening of July 5, the Shijiazhuang Central Green Sports Park was turned into a sea of joy as a rock music show took place there. With their zeal fully fired, the students sang, cheered, and applauded. They even took to the stage, singing to the fullest to release their vitality and enthusiasm.

During the exchange events, Chinese and American students have actively interacted, vied with one another to have group photo taken, and exchanged books, scarves, and bracelets as gifts and taken of friendship.

Chinese and American students pose for group photo. Photo by Liu Zunshuan

"This is our first time in Hebei. The people here are very friendly. There are countless stories of Sino-American exchanges, and we hope that young people from both countries can have more interactions, understand each other, become friends, and carry on the friendship," said Zhuang Hanjie, President of the US-China Youth and Students Exchange Association.

It was learned that the delegation will go on visiting Fujian, Zhejiang, and Shanghai, where they will participate in a variety of activities, visit high schools and carry out full exchanges and interactions with their Chinese counterparts.

Editors: Song Lifang, Mi Wenting