By Eric Coker
Zhenjiang International School teacher Sofia Jiang smiled as she watched the Chinese students interact with their Binghamton High School counterparts.
“This trip to the United States is their first chance to talk with so many English-speaking people,” said Jiang, who teaches English at Zhenjiang International School (ZIS). “It’s a very good experience for them. In China, they can have books and imagine what they could say. But they don’t have real situations like this.”
The visit to Binghamton High was just one highlight of a whirlwind week for 20 Chinese high school sophomores who came to Binghamton on April 16 as part of a new program that links Binghamton University’s Harpur College and Ambow Education’s Zhenjiang International School.
In the partnership, ZIS students will take Binghamton University online English and writing classes and then attend Binghamton University after their high school graduation. The recent visit gave the students an introduction to Binghamton University, its classes, campus life and the community.
“They are coming away with a sense of what Binghamton University feels like, how it operates and what the possibilities of an American university experience are like,” Harpur College Dean Donald Nieman said.
“We’ve brought our students here to understand how the American educational system works,” ZIS Principal Zhou Wei said. “In the future, most of them will choose to come to Binghamton University. We have loved Binghamton University and the city very much.”
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