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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Getting More Americans to Study in China and Project Pengyou

Published on Mar 25, 2013
From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

Last year, 200,000 Chinese students studied in the United States. That was a 23 percent increase over the previous year. The Institute of International Education in New York reports that 26,000 U.S. students were in China in 2011.

They included 15,000 people studying for academic credit and 11,000 taking part in other educational activities. A program called the 100,000 Strong Initiative is trying to increase the number of Americans studying in China. The State Department launched the program in 2010.

The goal is to send 100,000 students to China during a four-year period. Last year, the nonprofit 100,000 Strong Foundation was launched. Project Pengyou is one of the groups the foundation supports. It connects American students who have lived or studied in China.

Project Pengyou is based in Beijing and led by Holly Chang. She says personal ties formed while studying abroad can have an effect on relations between the United States and China. She says there is still a huge amount of misunderstanding between the two countries.

The Chinese government has offered 20,000 scholarships to Americans under what is known as the U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. The 100,000 Strong Foundation has no official relationship with the Chinese government. But the foundation says it works closely with Chinese government officials to encourage more Americans to seek these Chinese scholarships. The goal is to give more Americans a chance to get a taste of Chinese culture.
For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 28Feb2013)

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