SAD 1 is welcoming 6 exchange students from China this fall. It’s part of a growing Chinese Initiative at Presque Isle High School, and an effort to expand diversity in the area. News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos reports….
From Beijing China- to Presque Isle Maine. It’s a cultural exchange of 6 students aimed at diversifying Presque Isle High School.
Presque Isle High School Principal Ben Greenlaw, “This group of students we’ve interviewed pretty much over the last school year to come and then we’d interviewed a group of students the previous school year as well of which he had one student at Presque Isle High School from China last year.”
It’s the first time the Presque Isle High School has welcomed several international students at one time, and it’s a process that’s been a long time coming. The first group of students will arrive August 3rd and the 2nd group arrives the 13th. The 6 students from Beijing will be staying with host families in Presque Isle and the first day of classes is August 20th.
“The ability to learn from someone else who lives in a completely different culture as you is special and rare and to be able to have 6 students from another part of the world to be able to share experiences with our students is a benefit for them and a benefit for us,” said Greenlaw.
It’s also a benefit to the community and SAD 1 district. All 6 students will be paying tuition to attend the high school, totaling a net profit of 55 thousands dollars. Greenlaw says the Chinese students are excited to experience an interactive hands on approach to learning.
“In China they’re in class sizes of 40 to 50 students and the emphasis is on memorization skills where here it’s a little more about creativity,” said Greenlaw.
In September SAD 1 Superintendent Gehrig Johnson will be traveling to officially open a Presque Isle International School in Nanning, China. Greenlaw says they hope to continue developing and sustaining relationships with international students in years to come.
A tutor will also be traveling with the students from China. She’ll be pursing her masters degree at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and teaching Mandarin to students at the Presque Isle High School.