China’s progress over the last two and a half decades has been marked not just by rapid economic development, but also by high-speed social change. Today’s young Chinese are coming of age at a moment of complex and fast-moving challenges at home and globally. Meeting these challenges will require vision, flexibility, a strong sense of social mission, and a sophisticated understanding of how other societies work when they work best. Currently, higher education in China focuses on professional skills. Students are eager to learn, work, and cultivate their interests beyond the classroom, and they crave a higher degree of civic engagement, more opportunities of involvement in wider societal issues, and a deeper understanding of different cultures and people.
It is in response to this need that Asia Society’s Center on U.S-China Relations, together with Beijing Normal University’s Institute of International and Comparative Education, launched the U.S-China Dialogue Young Scholars Program. The program brings Chinese college students of outstanding academic and personal character to the U.S for a month of immersion in the many spheres of American public life. Through this program scholars will be able to build their social responsibility toolkit to make meaningful contributions to the improvement of their communities, society, and the wider world.