The week of February 9th, 2015 to February 15, 2015, Collegiate is hosting a group of students from our partner school in China to foster political and economic discussion, as well as a cultural exchange. The Collegiate Emerging Leaders: Asia Seminar team has been preparing since the beginning of January for the arrival of the students from the Beijing New Oriental Foreign Language School of Yangzhou. In preparation for this week’s events, the IEL Asia Seminar team has been using Design Thinking to conceive of a schedule for the week in order to best utilize the unique opportunity the cultural exchange offers not only the members of the IELC team, but also the greater Collegiate community. Class members have rapidly learned about the history of economics and politics in China, preliminary Chinese phrases and a basic understanding of pronunciation, and engaged in weeks of email correspondence with the Chinese students.

Claire G. ‘15 said of the week, “I am excited for the opportunity to communicate with our partner school. I feel as though we as a community and country have a lot to learn from their system of education and its focus on STEM and STEAM, and I am very interested in working together to try to develop an educational plan that is able to accommodate the growing need for a strong sense of the world and technical mathematic and scientific education, while still fostering the arts and associated creativity. My email partner, Lyris, and I have become friends through our almost daily correspondence, and I am excited to get to know her more throughout this week and in the future. IELC is already securing its place in my heart as an experience of cultural growth, personal reflection, and educational globalization, and I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of the students”.

The Chinese students are scheduled to arrive at around 3:20pm due to a flight delay because of snow in the Chicago International Airport, and the first activities of the exchange will consist of ice-breakers and informal discussion.