China partnership brings students to Dare County


Ashtyn Wescott & Averi Creef, Staff Writer

Twenty one students and one teacher from China visited Dare County Schools through the China Partnership in September.

The visitors came from Meicun High School in Wuxi City, China, which DCS first began a partnership with back in 2007. The school is located in the Jiangsu Province, or northwest of Shanghai, of China.

Math teacher Suzanne Pack was MHS the coordinator for the China Partnership.

“It was an amazing experience. I was worried going into it that it may not work out so well, but it actually turned out to be wonderful,” Pack said.  “The international bonds that I saw between Dare County students and the Chinese students were very strong.  I noticed that all students like using electronics, eating and laughing.”

The students arrived early in the morning on Sept. 6. Just hours after arriving the students reported to school with their students in their host families. Students hosting families included senior Josh Pack and sophomore Emily Pack, sophomore Josh Houston, junior Drew Harper and sophomore Melissa Heath. Media specialist Lindsay Daniels hosted the group’s teacher. The six exchange students attending school at MHS that day were: Michael, Echo, Jiggles, Wu, Jenny and Charlie. Their teacher, Mrs. Sun, accompanied them.

Because of the language barrier, these students used nicknames or changed their names.

“They all changed their names,” junior Drew Harper said. “Jiggles was my family’s exchange student, and her real name was Mi Xiao Ye. She introduced herself as Jiggles, so I think they all decided to transform their names to American names or words to make pronunciation and identification easier.”

The students attended a regular school day that Monday and first period on Tuesday.

“I am an only child, so it was weird having two ‘brothers’ to eat with and share my stuff and day with,” sophomore Josh Houston said. “The experience was enriching and fulfilling though. I liked meeting and getting to know people with opposing ideologies.”

After leaving school on Tuesday, the students and their host families had the opportunity to tour local attractions. Jockey’s Ridge, the aquarium and the Wright Brothers monument were on the list of places they visited.

“I think it was really cool because it was my first time visiting some of these places too. That’s really weird since I am a local, but it was fun watching them admire the different monuments,” Harper said. “The exchange students were most in awe of the ocean because they had never seen it before. They dipped their feet in the water when we first arrived, but before we left almost all of them had gotten completely in the water.”

From Dare County, the exchange students went on the Washington D.C. They were in the country for a total of 5 days

In the future trip, a group of MHS students will get a chance to reverse roles with these exchange students as they travel to China to attend Meicun High School and sightsee.