200 Students From China’s Sichuan Province To Visit Rice University

July 16, 2008

Some 200 middle and high school students from China’s Sichuan Province will visit Rice University July 22 as part of their two-week stay in Houston. They will check out one of Rice’s residential colleges, tour classrooms, eat lunch with members of the Chinese Student Association and hear a lecture by Y. Ping , university representative and wife of Rice President David Leebron.

The trip is sponsored by the Sichuan Department of Education. All of those selected come from around Chengdu, the provincial capital. They went through rigorous testing, according to Willie Xu, a Rice undergraduate who is one of the program managers, and their English-language skills are among the best in Sichuan.

While they will also be visiting cities on the east and west coasts, the students are spending the bulk of their time in Houston. The program is in its fifth year, but this is the first time it will include a stop in Houston. The Chinese Civic Center of Houston organized the segment of the students’ trip when they will be in the Bayou City. Houston was chosen in part because of the strong Chinese community in the city, Xu said.

The program includes several field trips. On July 22, the students will visit the office of Mayor Bill White and the Houston City Council as well as the Chinese Consulate. Later that day, they will arrive at Rice, where they will tour Mary Gibbs Jones College, one of Rice’s 11 residential colleges.

“We will show them what undergraduate student life is like at Rice,” said Simon Wu, a Rice undergraduate who will serve as one of the guides July 22.

The Chinese students will also visit several classrooms and then meet at the Grand Hall of the Rice Memorial Center for lunch sponsored by Rice’s Chinese Student Association. Afterward, will address the students to talk about university education in the United States and the overseas Chinese experience. Rice admissions staff members will also give a presentation.

“By coming to Rice, these Chinese students will learn about college life in the U.S. firsthand, and will see a university environment that they are unlikely to experience in their home country,” said Xu. “Also, this is a really great opportunity for the university to further its global outreach and enhance Rice’s reputation.”

The students will be staying with American families while in Houston and will attend classes at the campus of the Second Baptist Church.

Other field trips involve NASA, the Port of Houston and a Houston Astros game.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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