CULTURAL EXPLORATION OF GREATER CHINA
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Background

The Cultural Exploration(CE)of Greater China Foundation is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to promote a better understanding of greater China and Chinese culture through education by offering cultural learning opportunities to schools or other educational institutions. In the past ten years, through generous donations from local communities and businesses, CE has sponsored over 40 teachers to tour China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. This year, through successful fund-raising, we are pleased to offer this great travel opportunity again to teachers that are enthusiastic about bringing China and Chinese culture to their classrooms.


Unlike other cultural exchange programs sponsored by various governments or academic organizations, CE is a community-based program. We believe that the most effective way to know modern day China, Chinese Culture and people is through pressure-free interpersonal interactions.

Objective
Today, Chinese people live in different parts of the world and Chinese culture is manifested in a variety of ways. The objective of this program is to assist American teachers to:
  • Introduce greater China to their students with accurate information, confidence and authority.
  • Develop teaching plans to enhance curriculum related to China, Pacific Rim and Asia.
  • Inspire students to learn about China and Chinese culture.
  • Have a better understanding of Americans with Chinese heritage.
Continuing Education Credits
Several teachers in the past have successfully applied and earned up to 70 clock hours or 7 continuing education credits for the CE Tour through Seattle University. Interested teachers will be responsible for completing the necessary application form and coordinating with CE.
Application Process
Starting from 2014, teachers who are interested in our program can fill out application online. Qualified applicants will be notified by email for interview. Normally the application time frame is around Feburary each year and interview is conducted the following March with tour award decision made by April.
Caryn Heffernan
CE Tour 2009
Newport High School, Bellevue WA

I currently teach AP World History and AP Economics at Newport High School in Bellevue, WA. When I first applied for the CE Trip I had hoped that I would be a good fit primarily for two reasons: Chinese history and the Chinese economy are an integral part of my curriculum, and over 40% of the students at Newport are of East Asian ethnicity. I was looking for a way to both learn things that would make my lessons on China more alive, and for an experience that would help me to better understand my students by seeing something of the background of many of their families. The experience satisfied both goals and more.

Though exhausting, the trip was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I learned an enormous amount about China and Chinese culture. But more importantly, I learned about the people. From our gracious tour guides, to the Chinese Americans in our tour group, to the amazing volunteers in Shang Hai, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as the other two teachers on the tour, the people I met during those 3 and a half weeks will be important to me forever. This trip allowed me to experience so many aspects of China's politics, economy and lifestyle. By allowing us to see multiple cities in mainland China, in addition to Hong Kong and Taiwan, the trip allowed us as American teachers to more fully comprehend the diversity in what it means to be "Chinese." No one could ever return from this trip without a tremendous desire to continue to learn, explore and share such a complex and fascinating culture.

Tonya Kusak
CE Tour 2007
Issaquah School District

Thank you so much for the tremendous opportunity to travel throughout China this summer. Your hospitality was remarkable and so very memorable. Our entire tour was very educational concerning China's history, art, food, peoples, traditions, and landscape. It was amazing being amongst historical sites and art created thousands of years prior. I now have such a greater understanding for China and its culture. This opportunity to build a greater understanding of China's culture will inevitably impact my teaching and have a positive effect on all of my future students. I now feel that I will be able to have a greater connection to my student's Chinese heritage and teach from a more refined multi-cultural perspective.

Jessica Heaton
CE Tour 2005
Sammamish School District

After attending the CE Fund Raise Tea Party on Sunday, it struck me that my participation with the Cultural Exchange program has been a double blessing. Not only was I incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to travel to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but what's even better is that I've been welcomed into your community. On Sunday I had a chance to catch up with many of the people who guided me through Taiwan, and it felt like visiting with old friends. I also met many new people, and every single person went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. Thank you so much for your sponsorship, and even more for your friendship - this I hope endures far into the future.

Alice Britt
CE Tour 2002
Issaquah School District

As our trip ended in Taipei, we said good-bye to Sam, Susan and their families and headed toward the airport. We were exhausted! This had been no vacation! We had arisen each morning to explore as much as we could on our own even before our tour guide arrived. At night we rarely fell into bed before midnight. We were indeed tired, but we were brimming with enthusiasm about our experiences in China and anxious to share what we learned with our students, parents, and colleagues.

So now we would like to thank you all for this wonderful opportunity and promise that we will do our best to keep the teaching of Chinese history and culture an integral part of your children's education. This is just the beginning. We look forward to a continued relationship with the Seattle Chinese School on behalf of your children.

Susan Brown
CE Tour 2001
Everest School District

I found my China trip to be life-changing. It opened my eyes to an entirely different way of living and that has impacted my interactions with many students and teachers. I now teach high school English and so I encourage students to talk about their cultures and backgrounds and I actively look for literature that offers a non-European view.