The Experience: "My Perspective Has Changed in Ways I Could Not Have Imagined"

A Letter from Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations.

Dear Friends:

In the never-ending historic process of the U.S. and China becoming more familiar with each other’s people, societies, political systems, and cultures one of the most important bonds that can be forged is when young people from each country are able to immerse themselves in the other, to learn the language and actually live there so that they not only experience the other country directly, but come to feel comfortable on both sides of the divide.

That is exactly what Asia Society’s U.S.-China Dialogue Young Scholars Program does in bringing a group of college-age Chinese students to the U.S. each summer for an intensive immersion in myriad aspects of American life. Simple in its design, it is profound in its effect, because the students go home transformed.

In the end, it is programs like this one that give hope that over time these two important countries will be able to rely on a new cadre of spokespeople dedicated to the kind of closer cooperation and collaboration that can bridge the differences.


Orville Schell