From the Great Wall to the Great Salt Lake
Parkites see snow every day, but the Chinese exchange students look at it in awe.
Twelve years ago Park City High School started a sister school program with Beijing High School Number Four. Last October several PCHS students went to China, now those students are hosting their Chinese "counterparts" for a tour de force of the Beehive State.
The exchange students have been hiking in Moab, gone skiing at Deer Valley and The Canyons, attended a Jazz game and will meet Governor Huntsman on Wednesday.
On Friday, February 1, PCHS hosted an assembly that featured the students from China. It opened with a video montage of the PCHS students in China. In 14 days they traveled to four different cities. Trip highlights included Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Xi’an Terracotta Warriors, the Great Wall of China and the Sports Academy.
Two of the student chaperones spoke first.
"I’m so happy to come to Park City for the first time," said Xie Zheng, a teacher and English interpreter.
Another teacher form Beijing High School spoke to the audience and wished they could travel to China during their lives.
"I hope all of you can have the opportunity to visit Beijing," she said.
Qi Lei, whose American nickname is Sunny, is a student at Beijing High School Number Four and has enjoyed the abundant snow in Park City.
"It’s so amazing, white all over. It’s like a fairytale," she said.
Individuals here have been receptive to her and Qi Lei finds them very approachable.
"People here are so friendly, just so nice. They smile at you."
She noted some stark differences between her high school and PCHS. She goes through all of high school taking classes with the same 50 students.
After graduation Lei would like to attend college at an Ivy League school.
"I think American universities are some of the best in the world," she said.
Wang Liao also likes the snow here and was all smiles as she spoke to the students at PCHS.
"It’s my honor to be friends with all of you," she said.
Yan Wei told PCHS he enjoys basketball and skiing and his trip has left him with a favorable impression of this small mountain town.
"Park City is a quiet, beautiful city," he said.
He was also appreciative of everyone’s hospitality.
"Thank you for your good treat to me," Yan Wei told the audience.
Having never been to America, Ja Ye was optimistic about being here.
"This is the first time I went outside my own country. I believe I will have an unforgettable experience here in the United States," he said.
Tu Yichen was equally excited.
"I have learned a lot from you, thank you very much. I love America and I love the music. I want to learn a lot about the city," he said.
Wu Mengfei, whose American nickname is Morphy, commented on the size of PCHS.
"I like Park City and Park City High School. The school is so big and I wonder for a long time why you don’t get lost in the school?" she said.
Just before the close of the assembly, Qi Lei presented the school with a framed dragon embroidered in a traditional Chinese style.
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