Dr. Lisha Cabral, Superintendent
50 Oliver St.
North Easton, MA 02356
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Feb. 7 2019
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Easton Middle School Hosts Visiting Chinese Students
EASTON — Principal Luke Carroll is pleased to announce that Easton Middle School recently hosted 16 visiting Chinese students.
Last year, 11 students from a foreign language school in Shijiazhuang, China visited Easton Middle School. The educational exchange program was organized through BostonWise, a Cambridge based student exchange agency.
“We had a unique opportunity back in the fall of 2017, where we were visited by a principal, Ms. Huang, from a school in China, and through BostonWise they were looking to set up an exchange program where Chinese students were able to come to America for a unique cultural experience and spend a week in an American Middle School,” Principal Carroll said. “Last year was the first year we had done it. This year we continued to expand the program, and the number of students who came to stay with host families increased.”
Most of the visiting students were eighth graders, and stayed with Easton students in grades six, seven, and eight. Before the visiting students arrived, they were introduced to their host students through video chats. Easton students also created a welcome video, and reached out independently to their host students as well.
Visiting students arrived, after over 20 hours of traveling, Sunday, Jan. 27, and departed Saturday, Feb. 2. The students were scheduled to continue their trip with visits to New York and Washington D.C.
“For us, it’s a really unique cultural experience for our students to have students visiting from the other side of the world,” Principal Carroll said. “The kids really enjoy it. The feedback from it has been really positive. We’ve done different activities with the students after school that have allowed for the students to share their culture with our students.”
While visiting Easton Middle School, students attended every school day as well as field trips to the Bridgewater State College City Lab, Harvard, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Visiting students were also welcomed to after school events including a poster-making event on Tuesday with the World Language club, where students hung posters throughout the school that depicted positive phrases in four languages: English, Mandarin, Spanish, and French. An after school Chinese New Year celebration was also held on Thursday, where the Art Club lead students in a paper cutting activity. Students also made dumplings and practiced calligraphy.
The Easton Middle School Parent Advisory Committee also donated Patriot’s gear to visiting students to wear Friday, as the school welcomed all students to wear gear in support of their favorite team in anticipation of Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Amy Meehan, a counselor at Easton Middle, said students have also found that, despite their differing cultures, they are very similar to each other in age and adolescent experience.
“It’s certainly not only an experience of a different culture, but an experience of adolescence in addition to a different culture,” Meehan said. “They’re finding they’re very similar because of their ages and mannerisms. It’s fun to see.”
“The experience is extraordinary simply because, for our students, many of them who have not had the opportunity to travel are having a different culture brought to them,” she added. “It’s exciting for them to share.”