We proposes a Sino-U.S sister school exchange program that aims to increase Chinese and American students and teachers’ cross-cultural knowledge and skills through organized and on-going international education and exchange activities. We currently offer participating schools several exchange projects:
- Immersion Programs. Immersion Programs take place during the school year. One or more groups of 20 Chinese students with 2 teachers study at a U.S. school and home stay with local families for one or more weeks. During the day, the Chinese students attend regular classes and extra–curricular activities, spend time with American students, and learn from American teachers. In the evening and weekend, the Chinese students spend quality time with host families and gain first-hand experience of American family life. Participating schools receive a grant of $5,000 for one-week program, and $10,000 for a two-week program (approximately $250 per Chinese student per week). Participating schools also receive support to develop a Global Youth Ambassador Project Club (GYAP Club). The GYAP Club will be the school acting agency, working with school leaders, to plan and implement the activities of the immersion program. Each year, two or more GYAP Club members who have outstanding performance will be selected to attend an 8 to10–day field study trip to China on a full scholarship.
- Summer Programs. Summer Programs are twelve-day programs organized by school coordinators with school peer leaders’ participation. These programs combine English learning and cultural activities specially designed for a group of approximately 30 Chinese students with 2 teachers. During the days, the Chinese students attend pre-planned learning and cultural activities, and in the evenings and weekends they spend quality time with host families. The U.S schools may recruit American students to be a part of the summer camp. Some schools have had success encouraging American student participation by granting community service/elective credit for their summer cultural learning experience. Participating schools receive a grant of $21,000 for a two-week program (approximately $350 per Chinese student per week).
- GYAP Club: Student Online Exchange Activities with Students from Sister Schools. The GYAP Club online exchange activities is an organized and pre-planned program that enable students of the two countries to conduct joint distance learning activities. It can be organized and implemented in the form of extracurricular club activities and/or joint class activities planned by the teachers of sister schools. Global Citizenship Education would be the learning focus, and the activities and hands-on projects can be developed around the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, such as “Good Health and Well-Being,” “Sustainable Cities and Communities,” “Quality Education,” “Responsible Consumption and Production,” and “Partnership Building,” etc. The program also provides a platform and support for GYAP Club member teachers and students to share online classrooms with sister schools in all subject areas, such as English, Sciences, Math and etc.
- Teachers’ Professional Exchange and Development Opportunities in China. The program offers teachers of participating schools 8 to 10–day trips to China. During the PD trip, American teachers visit sister schools, conduct professional exchanges via demo classes and workshops, develop joint online classes, and lead roundtable discussions. The program organizes professional development trips to China annually at low or no cost for the teachers.
- International School Administrators’ Summit in China. The summit provides a platform for international education leaders to share educational theory and best practices, to discuss the issues and challenges in contemporary education in the world, and to develop working relationships with Chinese colleagues through building sister schools. The program invites school leaders from participating schools to attend Summits, and covers all costs, except visa application.
- American High School Dual-Diploma Program (2+1 program). The Dual Diploma Program offers a specially-designed curriculum to Chinese schools modeling that of American partner schools, provides teaching materials and resources, conducts professional trainings for administrators and teachers, and helps hire foreign principals and teachers for the participating Chinese schools. It allows Chinese students to come to the American partner school as tuition–paying students, to study for one school year, as well as attend program–organized exchange activities. Upon successful completion of the program, the Chinese students receive a high school diploma from the partnering American high school.