Students from Peninsula High School’s sister high school, No. 1 High School Jinan Shandong in Jinan, China, virtually all of whom are 17 years old, received a tumultuous ovation when introduced to the standing room only audience at their introductory assembly in PHS’s Milt Boyd auditorium on Nov. 8. They were greeted by PHS Principal Tim Winter, Superintendent Terry Bouck, school board members, ASB president Lyndsi LaRose, PHS Chinese language students led by Dennis Tanner, and Chinese teacher and exchange coordinator Heidi Steele.
Following the assembly, the students gathered at the school cafeteria, where the Chinese shared the same bill of fare as the PHS kids, a turkey-based almost Thanksgiving luncheon. The Jinan kids then joined their hosts in regular PHS classroom sessions for a taste of how things are done here.
Students from both sides had a chance to share experiences and to learn how things are done here and there. They discussed differences in school work, how many and what kind of classes are required, leisure time, how the Chinese qualify to attend their prestigious school, how their education is funded, and a plethora of other subjects.
Each Chinese student is paired with a PHS student and lives with the student’s family. The PHS students have either already visited with the Chinese in China or are planning to do so later this academic year. Each must provide for his or her own travel expenses.