Ready to send another 24 students to study in China

The Confucius Institute in Chicago held an orientation for 24 students and their parents for their upcoming 4-week trip to China at the Walter Payton College Prep High School on Saturday, May 17. These lucky students, who have gone through a highly selective process, are from eight schools throughout the Chicago Public School district (CPS).

This will be the fourth year that the Confucius Institute in Chicago (CIC) and CPS participate in the “100,000 Strong Initiative.” In 2009, President Obama proposed the program in which American students would go to China to study Chinese language and culture. These programs are all supported by business entities and organizations.

The Chinese Summer Language, Culture and Technology Initiative (CSLCTI) organized by CIC and CPS is a full-scholarship study abroad program supported by Wanxiang America Corporation. Wanxiang is the largest Chinese company in the greater Chicago area, and a “100,000 Strong” supporter acknowledged by the US Department of State.

Wanxiang’s headquarters are located in Xiaoshan, China. Since 2012, Wanxiang America Corporation, together with Wanxiang Group, has provided financial support for CPS and CIC to send high school students in the Chinese language program to Hangzhou, China for a four-week intensive Chinese immersion program.

During the four-week in China, participating students will learn Chinese, attend clean energy seminars, conduct site visits, and participate in cultural events and field trips in Hangzhou, China. They will also take an excursion to Beijing or Xian. The objective of the program is to motivate students to learn more of the Chinese language and culture, improve their Chinese proficiency and knowledge of Chinese history, and enhance their awareness on environmental protection and clean energy. 

Kyle Sargent and Nicolas Xu, two students who participated in the program last summer, shared their “once in a life time” experience with those who are about to embark on their journey and their parents.

“CIC and CPS have participated in “100,000 Strong” program to China for several years,” said Jane Lu, Director of CIC. “Wanxiang has generously sponsored the program over the past two years, sending a total of 40 students to China.”

Lu said Wanxiang has recently agreed to sponsor the program for three more years, committing $225,000 per year. It means a total of 72 students will be beneficiaries of the program.

“The intensive study program in China is a life-changing experience for our students. We are excited to continue the program and very appreciative of Wanxiang’s support.”