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Friends stop by from a world away

Chinese students, educators, tour Guilderland schools on stateside visit

Three Chinese students show a Social Studies class in Guilderland High School how to  morning eye exercises to relieve stress.

Three Chinese students show a Social Studies class in Guilderland High School how to morning eye exercises to relieve stress. Photo by Marcy Velte.

— Language barriers were overcome and friendships were made when students and administrators from China’s Tianjin High School No.41 took a tour of Guilderland High School on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

In an effort to learn more about the American educational system, 29 Chinese students and 8 administrators visited classrooms, observed lessons and participated in a question and answer session with students and officials from Guilderland Central.

“This world is very large, but today it seems very small,” said Superintendent Marie Wiles to the group. “It is my hope that this visit will allow us to become friends.”

Tianjin High School No.41 became a sister school to the Tech Valley High School in East Greenbush last February. This is the second time students and administrators from Tianjin have visited the Capital District. The partnership is designed to help both Tech Valley and Tianjin High School students prepare for a global workforce by building lifelong connections through future exchanges.

The hope is some of the additional schools they visit will sign on to become partners with the Chinese school to promote student exchanges within those districts as well. Last year, the delegation visited Bethlehem High School on their stay, along with the districts of South Colonie, Schodack, and Schoharie.

The students visited Bethlehem High School once again this year to attend a basketball game. Besides Guilderland, the delegation visited schools in Cohoes and Catskill, so those visiting could see a cross section of urban, suburban and rural schools in the area.

The group also gets a glimpse of the American culture by attending sporting events, eating in local restaurants, shopping and visiting the New York State Museum.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Demian Singleton welcomed the delegation and said the chance to learn from the group was to Guilderland’s advantage. “We hope you had a chance to learn from us as well,” he said to the students.

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