April 10, 2003
"We want to experience the difference between rural and urban China," Byler said. The time spent at universities will include study of China’s past, present, and culture. CEE works closely with these schools. Students will also be involved with Chinese students in conversation. dents would begin to understand that there’s a whole other world." He explained that many students see opportunities in countries like Nicaragua as places for service or international business. His idea is to open up similar awareness about China and East Asia. Weaver identified another way this trip will be unique for Byler sees it as an opportunity to continue to build educational ties between China and the U.S. He said, "Part of this for me is that Eastern Mennonite University has been accepting Chinese students that are coming this way, and the cross-cultural provides for some reciprocal study." "I think we envision [the cross-cultural trip] as only a start," Weaver said. CEE has some 40 teachers from American institutions teaching English in various parts of China. Illustrating just how important English teachers are in China, Byler explains that students are tested on three things when pursuing higher education: Chinese, Math, and English. Chinese students begin learning English in school at a young age and continue through high school. CEE also brings as many Chinese professors and teachers to American universities as possible. Currently there are eight or nine studying in the U.S. "The demand is great," Byler says. He would have thousands of scholars to bring to the U.S. if the funds were available. Byler says that part of CEE’s goal, and his own personal goal, is to dispel the Soviet Union-like image of China that most SIFE from pg. 1 and to help create a communication between the children here in Harrisonburg and the children in Lesotho. This project will not only help the children in Lesotho, but it will also teach the children here about...