In August 2016, the Ameson Foundation held its farewell reception at the Confucius Institute US Center for participants in the AYC program of 2016 academic year in Washington, DC.
In September, the first batch of AYC envoys for 2016, about 40 outstanding American graduates from various places in the United States, arrived in Shanghai, China. They soon after traveled to different locations throughout China such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang to teach English at local schools for one-year. To prepare the graduates for their year in China and to teach English, Ameson held a 9-day training in Shanghai starting on September 1. The AYC training program was held in Shanghai Everbright Convention and Exhibition Center. It was jointly organized by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and the Ameson Foundation. The training covered the current situation of domestic schools in China, important teaching skills, Chinese culture, Chinese learning and other topics.
The first group of AYC 2016 Participants in Shanghai, China for Orientation and Training Session
Mr. Sean Zhang, Ameson’s Executive Vice President, extended a warm welcome to the newly arrived ambassadors and briefed them on the goals and development experiences of the AYC project. The ambassadors asked about what their experience would entail and were excited to begin their experience. Mr. Zhang stressed that the AYC ambassadors in China are not only English teachers; rather they are “cultural ambassadors,” in the Sino-U.S. cross-cultural communication link.
Mr. Sean Zhang, Executive Vice President of the Ameson Education & Cultural Exchange Foundation addressing AYC 2016 participants
In order to enhance the teaching ability of the ambassadors and deepen their experience in China, the AYC team also planned a variety of excursions, including visiting many of Shanghai’s attractions, to help them understand the local culture. During the tour, the ambassadors took many pictures to document their experience and actively posted about their experience on social media to share with family and friends. Those who received more “likes” during previous evening's farewell party got rewards from AYC program.
The ambassadors gave the training a lot of positive feedback, saying that it helped them start the program with a more international perspective on teaching, and understanding culture. One ambassador said that even though they had just arrived in China, it felt like they had been there a long time. They already want to recommend to family and friends to visit China, and they hope to continue to work in China beyond the completion of the AYC program.
This year, the AYC farewell reception was held at the Confucius Institute US Center with representative from Johns Hopkins University’s Johns Hopkins - Nanjing Center, hoping to establish future connections so that students from the Confucius Institutes will join AYC to teach in China and then return to study at Johns Hopkins - Nanjing Center. With this chain model, hopefully more American youths will become experts on US-China related fields.
AYC is a bridge and window, not only help participants understand contemporary China but also bring in a breath of fresh air to English programs in Chinese schools. Over the past few months, these young American ambassadors have been living and teaching in Quzhou, Lishui, Nanjing, Changzhou and Wenzhou, in more than 30 different excellent public primary and secondary schools, teaching English. At the same time, they have been learning Chinese and discovering the local culture and spreading American culture. These ambassadors are building very important global connections. 40 more AYC participants of this year are getting ready and on their way to China, to become truly ambassadors teaching for a full year.
AYC 2016 Participants gather for another group photo