On June 7, 2013, a group of Arkansas educators led by Ms. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) arrived in Shanghai to begin their 10 day Chinese Bridge —China Tour program. This program is sponsored by Confucius Institute Headquarters, and co-organized by UCACI and East China Normal University (ECNU),UCA’s partner University in Shanghai.
During their 10-day program, the Arkansas Educator Group participates in a variety of cultural activities, including visiting two schools in Nanjing, observing classes, talking with the Director of Education Bureau and principals in Nanjing to get better knowledge of Chinese education and to explore the possibilities of exchange program between American high schools and Chinese high schools. They watch live acrobats, take Pujiang River Cruise, visit Shanghai Museum, Silk Museum, Chinese traditional gardens, etc. They also have some hands on activities like practicing Chinese calligraphy and making dumplings.
This China Tour program has enriched their overseas experience, expanded their global horizon, and deepened their understanding of Chinese culture and its people. As Dr. Karen Morton, Director of Data Analysis from Bentonville School District puts it: “This program provides an extraordinary opportunity to see China. I cannot imagine a more educational and meaningful time (than this).” Mr. Donald Ward, former Mayor of Beebe, and Chair of Social Studies at Beebe High School expresses the similar idea in his feedback. He says that this China Tour program has helped him to understand both past and present China better, and he now has more vivid details to share with his students about Chinese culture and its people. He is greatly amazed by what he actually sees and hears in China.