Andy Wise of Shelburne, Emily Polhemus of Shelburne, Elliot DeMatteis of Hinesburg, Maeve Gustafson of Burlington, and Madeline Griego of Burlington wait to receive their scholarships at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce in Burlington on June 25. They are among the first group of Vermont High School Students selected to study in Shanghai, China, through the Vermont International Academy. (LYNN MONTY, Free Press)
Mandarin, China’s standard language, translates to “speech of officials.” While English has long held the title of the dominant language of business on the western hemisphere, best practices in the east have captured the attention of some young Vermonters who are setting their sights on becoming global citizens.
Champlain Valley Union High School senior Emily Air Jordan 9s Polhemus of Shelburne has never studied Mandarin, but she is soon to have a crash course, culturally as well as academically, on the subject. She applied for a Vermont International Academy scholarship to study in Shanghai, China, next semester.
Champlain Valley Union High School, and Burlington High School, both offer Chinese language classes, and have sponsored short term study trips to China. Cooperation agreements Air Jordan Spizike between these schools, Shanghai’s Datong High School, and Vermont International Academy were signed in January 2012.
Vermont International Academy is a new, independent high school approved by the State Board of Education.
Vermont students will study with Chinese students at a residential campus housed within DaTong High School. The scholarships cover tuition, room and board, and a $1,000 travel allowance to help cover airfare.
Polhemus, along with Andy Wise of Shelburne, Elliot DeMatteis of Hinesburg, Maeve Gustafson of Burlington, and Madeline Griego of Burlington are among the first to participate.
These students were presented with scholarships by Vermont International Academy president James Cross at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce in Burlington on June 25. Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Miller and Vermont Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca spoke at the press conference.
Vilaseca said offering these scholarships makes it affordable to everyone across the board. He is working to bring program awareness to other Nike KD 7 Vermont schools. “I would like to see this program expand to other students, and open up a world that is not available to most kids,” he said in an interview after the event. “This is hopefully the beginning of a relationship that will last for years.”
Madeline Griego, 16, of Burlington is a senior at Burlington High School. She has studied Mandarin for three years. Jordan Pro Strong “I like the logical sense of it, and how it fits together a lot better than English,” she said. “I am really excited to experience the lifestyles, the people, and everyday life.”
Griego’s mother, Abby Russell of Burlington, said her daughter is well prepared for the adventure abroad. Russell said along with travel documents, updated health records, and logistics, preparing her daughter for the mental challenge of eating dumplings, rice, and fish for breakfast is on the list of pre travel preparations.
“BHS’s Chinese program is a great opportunity for kids locally to learn about the broader community, and introduce them to cultures,” Russell said. “It’s going to be hard to say good bye to our seniors, but I’m glad she can go and try something new, and be challenged by that.”
As for Griego’s little brother, Zinmy Kouassi, 11, he said, “I am happy I get a full year to myself.”
Vermont International Academy is working in cooperation with Champlain College, the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Nike LeBron 12 Commerce, Education Vermont USA, and state and federal agencies to promote education and economic development.
The goal is to link international education to economic development for the state, Cross said. The program is in place to create jobs, encourage tourism and investment, and develop opportunities here and abroad for Vermont businesses.
International college students contribute more than $30 million to the state’s economy, but Vermont ranks next to last in the nation in terms of actual numbers of international students, Cross said.
Maeve Gustafson, 16, of Burlington said she is looking forward to her second trip to China. “We went on a school trip to visit the school,” she said. “I’m doing this to hopefully utilize this training in my future career. They need a lot of Chinese speakers for business relations. I will see where this takes me.”
As part of the scholarship, students will serve as mentors to the entering sophomore class of Chinese students in the Vermont International Academy program. Interested students may also have opportunities for internships in Shanghai in an area of interest such as business, marketing, information technology, teaching, government, or areas related to Chinese art, music and culture.
Champlain Valley Union High School principal Sean McMannon said the year abroad will enable students to go to China to continue their education within the framework of the state of Vermont, paired with a tremendous cultural experience that will prepare them for the world after graduation.
“I am really proud of our students,” McMannon said. “I know there will be challenges along the way, but a person grows from these experiences. Peanut collectingJerry Russin on A passion for Mr. Peanut collectingAviation and Aerospace Careers Class mvu after school on Highgate center provides kids options in aviationnike free run 3 on Milton teen swims across the lakeArchives