|Partnership with leading Chinese company is part of expansion of world language education opportunities
Wilmington, DE - Having made it a priority to offer Delaware students the best opportunities to learn a second language, Governor Markell today announced a China summer abroad program for high school students studying Mandarin. The Governor signed an agreement with representatives of Wanxiang Group, China's largest auto parts manufacturer, for students to study at the company's facility in Hangzhou, China, where they will take daily language classes, visit local schools, participate in cultural activities, and tour sites of science and technology companies.
"To prepare students for good-paying jobs in our global economy, the value of learning a second language is clear," said Governor Markell. "And there is no better way to become immersed in another language and culture than to live it.
"This partnership provides an amazing chance for our young people to not only dramatically improve their fluency in a second language, but also become more familiar with a different culture in the world's second-largest economy. I strongly encourage students taking Chinese and their families to consider this opportunity."
Joined by students and teachers from Mandarin Chinese classes at Conrad Schools of Science, Markell signed an agreement with Wanxiang Project Manager Daniel Li, who represented Executive Vice President of Wanxiang Group Pin Ni. The document provides a grant from Wanxiang for about $450,000 to fund study abroad sessions in 2015 and 2016, with up to 24 students and four teachers participating each year.
"Governor Markell's vision to bring World Language Chinese to Delaware has not only given Conrad students a leg up in the international science industry going forward, but has afforded our students the opportunity to see and experience another culture from an increasingly interconnected world," said Mark Pruitt, principal of Conrad Schools of Science.
In outlining the mission of the initiative, the Memorandum of Understanding states: "All programs created as a result of this agreement will help students see language proficiency as a workplace skill that will allow them to compete in the global marketplace of the 21st century. This partnership will also promote the study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the field of environmental protection and clean energy solutions and provide opportunities for students to develop international leadership experience."
Wanxiang, which has participated in President Obama's 100,000 Strong Initiative to send more American students to study in China, will fund all travel, living, and educational expenses. The partnership with Delaware, known as the Delaware Summer Chinese LInCS (Language Initiative for Communicating STEM) program, is geared toward students interested in real-world opportunities to apply their Chinese language proficiency and cultural knowledge in a STEM context.
"Delaware has made an impressive commitment to world language education and specifically to Chinese language opportunities for its students," said Pin Ni. "We are proud to partner with Governor Markell and the Department of Education to make available more educational resources for the state as we continue to support President Obama's 100,000 Strong Initiative."
Applications are due in March, and students will be chosen in April. Participants will depart in late June.
Wanxiang's Support of 100,000 Strong Reaches New Heights in 2014
Wanxiang completed another successful summer study abroad program in support of President Obama's 100,000 Strong Initiative. This summer was Wanxiang's biggest program yet, as it sent a record 224 students representing 10 different organizations to study in China over the summer, where they not only studied Chinese language and culture, but also received an education in clean energy from Wanxiang experts. President Obama anounced the 100,000 Strong Initiative in 2009 to strengthen US-China relations by increasing the number and diversity of US students who study in China. This year marks the third year Wanxiang has sponsored and hosted student groups traveling to China in support of the Initiative, working with the 100,000 Strong Foundation.
Over a period of three months this summer, Wanxiang welcomed five returning programs and five new programs to its study abroad office at Hangzhou Wanxiang Polytechnic in Hangzhou, China. Returning participants in the program were Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, city of Muscatine, Iowa, and the International Studies Learning Center in Los Angeles.
Wanxiang also welcomed five new groups:
1) Chicago Urban League's Student Mission to China: a delegation of high schools students from the Chicago Urban League, an organization working for economic, educational and social progress for African Americans in the Chicago area.
2) Northern California Delegation of "Think China" China-US Study Exchange Program: a delegation of high school students from US Congresswoman Barbara Lee's district in Northern California.
3) Lone Star College China Study Delegation: a delegation of students from the Lone Star College System, a public, two-year community college system in the Greater Houston area. The students are from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee's district in Texas.
4) China-United States Student Exchange Program: a delegation of college students from US Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge's district in Ohio.
5) Emerging Leaders: US-China Study Delegation: a delegation of college students sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education and organized by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
The five new programs were organized by Wanxiang's partner, the China-United States Exchange Foundation.
The students who participated in Wanxiang's programs had many positive experiences to share. Examples include:
"I learned lots about the founding of China, as well as social customs. I love the program, and believe in its continuation." Chicago Urban League student.
"I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the kindness of so many Chinese people." Chicago Public Schools student.
"I have gained valuable insights into one of the world's fastest growing economies and the trip allowed me to see firsthand how that development was taking place."University of Chicago student.
"This trip has been one of the major stepping stones in my life." International Studies Learning Center student.
|Students from the Think China delegation
|Students from the Chicago Urban League delegation
|Students from the Emerging Leaders delegation
|Students from the University of Chicago delegation
|Students from the Lone Star College delegation and US Representative Marcia L. Fudge's delegation.