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How to create an exchange program for your Mandarin immersion program

March 10, 2015

From our friends at the Asia Society’s China Learning Initiatives.

A Road Map for Planning a Successful “DIY” Two-Way School-to-School Partnership Exchange Program: Part I
Timeline, Key Components and Other Tips

BY HEIDI STEELE
This article is intended for people who are running a “DIY” two-way exchange in which a school’s language teacher/coordinator is handling all of the arrangements and logistics, rather than those who have partnered with an educational tour company to manage the process. If you are running a DIY one-way program, there may still be information here that you will find useful.

While every program has its own specific structure, my hope is that sharing a road map of the planning process for our exchange program (between the Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools in the Peninsula School District of Washington State and the Mudanjiang No. 1 High School in Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang Province) may help other programs get off the ground smoothly.

The planning and timeline below is for a one-month long two-way exchange program. Chinese students (usually between four and seven) arrive and stay in the U.S. for a two-week homestay with their American partners. Immediately following this, the entire group travels back to China, and American students stay for two weeks in their Chinese partners’ homes. Finally, the American students and I end the trip with four to five days on our own in Beijing.

Our program has a very simple financial arrangement. Each side is responsible for their own airfare and visas. On our side, the families equally share the cost of my plane ticket and visa, as well as the hotel in Beijing. All of the hosting expenses are born by the host school and/or families. If either side wants to extend their trip by visiting other cities (for example, our time in Beijing), the traveling side is responsible for the additional expense.

Please read more here.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 11, 2015 8:04 am

    We are a Dual Language Immersion school in Walnut, CA. 2 of our teachers have visited and presented at a teacher conference. We have had one-way student/teacher visitations (Sister Schools from Shanghai and Hangzhou to us) for the past 3 years, and are planning a trip for our first cohort to go to China in 2016-2017. Any and all information is helpful. Our goal is REAL educational exchange, not a “tour” only.

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