Rainbow Bridge Sponsors U.S.-China Student Cultural Exchange

By David Li, bostonese.com

Cambridge, Mass., August 12, 2014, — Harvard Yard was full of visitors during summer vacation. A group of close to 30 Chinese students in Rainbow Bridge T-Shirt sat in a circle not far from the stature of John Harvard.
A Harvard student(right) introduces history of Harvard to Chinese students(photo by David Li).

A student from University of Science and Technology of China(USTC) mentioned that he was very excited to be able to visit Harvard. “I know chemistry professor Xiaowei Zhuang of Harvard University graduated from USTC. There are also many USTC alumni studying and teaching at MIT.”

A Harvard sophomore volunteered to be the tour guide for the Chinese students. They made stops at major attractions at Harvard Year, including outside the depositories that George Washington, other U.S. presidents and the richest American Bill Gates had stayed.

The 28 Chinese students, all with outstanding academic performance and good qualities but financially-strapped background, come from 28 colleges in 20 autonomous regions, cities and provinces across the country. They will go to the US to visit prestigious universities there including Harvard, Yale and MIT; the National Gallery of Art, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress and the World Bank from July 31 to August 20. During this period, they will also visit the nearly 80-year-old Bank of China (BOC) New York Branch.

In the mean time, 28 American high school students with similar academic and financial background from New York, Washington and Seattle will also take part in a series of activities that will enable them to understand the history, culture and actual conditions of China, including learning Chinese Kungfu, calligraphy, seal-cutting and ethnic dancing, making Peking Opera facial masks, having social gatherings with schools for the children of migrant workers, orphanages, and schools for the disabled, visiting renowned cultural tourist attractions, famous Chinese enterprises and China-based American institutions.

Chinese and American Students Learning Tai Chi.

A few days ago in Beijing, the Chinese and American students visited the BOC Head Office Building designed by Leoh Ming Pei, a world-famous Chinese American architect who graduated from both Harvard and MIT. They felt the beauty of the traditional Chinese culture in the “Hall of Four Seasons” displaying the landscape architecture of China; witnessed the fast-changing global market conditions in China’s biggest foreign exchange trading room; sensed the solemn commitment of BOC in front of the country’s biggest safe deposit box bank; and experienced in person its considerate services by exchanging small-amount foreign currency in its spacious and bright business lobby.

In 2012, at the 100th anniversary of its establishment, BOC, for the first time, exclusively funded the “Rainbow Bridge” Chinese and American Students Cultural Exchange Program jointly initiated by China Next Generation Education Foundation and Americans Promoting Study Abroad. So far the program has been running for three years, benefiting 156 outstanding students from both countries. Many of the students have chosen to pursue further studies in each other’s country, and made greater contribution to cultural dissemination and exchanges between the two nations.