US students embark on 5-day journey of discovery in SZ

Writer: Zhang Yu  |  Editor: Wang Shiyu  |  From: Original  |  Updated: 2024-06-20

Video and photos by Lin Songtao

A cohort of 25 students from top universities across the United States began their five-day visit to Shenzhen yesterday to gain insights into China’s remarkable progress in higher education and science and technology.

The students, invited by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the China-United States Exchange Foundation as part of the Sino-U.S. Bridge Program, are visiting China for nearly a month from June 7 to July 6.

Liam Rinehart (C), a senior at the University of Southern California, the U.S., speaks during an exchange session at Shenzhen University yesterday. He is among a delegation of 25 students from top U.S. universities, which kicked off a five-day tour to Shenzhen on the same day. The delegation formed part of a program initiated by China last year to invite 50,000 young Americans to China within five years for exchange and study. 

The delegation will travel across China, visiting cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hangzhou, to explore top universities and technology companies.

In Shenzhen, the delegation’s itinerary includes visits to Shenzhen University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, as well as various enterprises, institutions, and cultural landmarks.

Liam Rinehart, a graduating senior at the University of Southern California majoring in international relations and global economy, is excited to learn more about China’s financial industry and how it impacts developing economies.

“For me, what’s been really interesting is seeing and hearing the story of Shenzhen and how, just in 40 years, so much has changed and so many people have moved in. And some of the buildings are just huge and beautiful,” said Rinehart during a visit to Shenzhen University yesterday afternoon.

Visiting U.S. students are guided through Shenzhen University History Museum yesterday.

Students talk at an exchange session held at Shenzhen University.

Rinehart also emphasized that the U.S. and China both value equipping young people with the necessary tools to make significant global improvements. He believes that student exchanges play a crucial role in fostering understanding and collaboration between the two countries.

“I think it’s different when you hear about a country versus when you meet people from the country. By meeting people, you gain a level of admiration and respect, especially when you come to a place like Shenzhen. You realize that people have worked so hard to make all this happen,” Rinehart told Shenzhen Daily.

Emma Chan, a rising sophomore at the University of California Los Angeles majoring in global studies and Chinese, is eager to learn more about the academic and technological world in China through the program.

Chan noted that the program has significantly deepened her understanding of China. Her knowledge of the country was limited prior to participating, and she only had a superficial awareness of its major cities. However, the program has introduced her to the richness of China’s university landscape, opening her eyes to potential future opportunities.

“I definitely want to either exchange or do a master’s in China because I think it will not only help my Chinese, but also help me understand the business world a lot more, because I want to possibly do that in the future since China is definitely growing in that aspect,” said Chan.

U.S. students exchange views with a local peer.

Visiting U.S. students pose for a photo at Shenzhen University.

Jerry Liu, a rising senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in computer science, expressed his excitement about experiencing Shenzhen’s development firsthand.

Liu’s mother had lived in Shenzhen for 20 years and worked at Huawei, and he is considering pursuing further studies or career opportunities in the city, particularly with companies like Tencent and Huawei.

The visit is part of China’s initiative launched last year to welcome 50,000 young Americans to participate in exchange and study programs over the next five years, enhancing people-to-people exchanges, especially among young people of the two nations.

A cohort of 25 students from top universities across the United States began their five-day visit to Shenzhen yesterday to gain insights into China’s remarkable progress in higher education and science and technology.