Event Strengthens US-China Ties and Encourages US Study Abroad to China

WASHINGTON, DC – June 2, 2014 – The first-ever US-China Student Summit was held this weekend, bringing together nearly 400 university-age students from the US and China with a goal of strengthening long-term ties between the two nations.

The students, nearly 200 from the US and 200 from China, met for two days at Peking University and Tsinghua University Affiliated High School in Beijing to learn about each other’s countries, the importance of the US-China relationship and the role they can play as global leaders. The summit was organized by WorldStrides, the largest US student travel organization and the exclusive educational travel partner of the 100,000 Strong Foundation.

“The friendships and cross-cultural understanding these students form today will pay dividends long into the future,” said Carola McGiffert, president of the 100K Strong Foundation. “The US-China relationship is the most important relationship of the 21st century. We must ensure that our next generation of leaders – including the students participating in the Summit – have the skills to compete, collaborate and succeed in a global economy; this means understanding China.”

As part of the Summit, students met with top Chinese and US government officials, academic administrators, professors, and cultural leaders. Such leaders included Max Baucus (U.S. Ambassador to China), Li Yansong (Vice President of Peking University), Travis Tanner (100,000 Strong Foundation), Dr. Jia Qingguo (Dean of Peking University School of International Studies) and Jessica Beinecke (Crazy Fresh Chinese).

On the first day, students participated in interactive group activities, including discussions about each of their cultures and the meaning of leadership and global citizenship, and developed advertisements promoting the importance of the US-China relationship. On day two, the students participated in an interactive, collaborative, creative final teambuilding project that synthesized the overall themes and content of the Summit.

“We’re thrilled that so many students participated in this fantastic cultural exchange opportunity,” said WorldStrides CEO Jim Hall. “We’re already hearing from delegations anxious to join for 2015 at the second annual summit in Shanghai and are excited to continue building off of our initial success.”

The 100K Strong Foundation and WorldStrides’ shared mission is to enhance the US-China relationship through study abroad and Mandarin language learning. Together, they hope the Student Summit sparks greater interest among American students to travel to China and learn about the role they can play in strengthening ties between the two nations.

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