Kenwood Student Experiences China Through Cultural Exchange Program

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Kenwood Student Experiences China Through Cultural Exchange Program

Lauren Magnuson

Lauren Magnuson

Lauren Magnuson

Shantell Lindsay, Junior

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Imagine getting the opportunity to see what it’s like to go to school in another country. Kenwood High Senior Maison McCafferty took advantage of this once-in- a-lifetime opportunity through the BCPS Cultural Exchange Program. He heard about this program in his freshmen year when Kenwood’s Library Media Specialist Ms. Magnuson talked about her experience chaperoning BCPS students in China two summers in a row.

According to Ms. Magnuson, “Every time Maison came to the library he would ask about the program and say he really wanted to go.”

Then in January 2018 he hosted an exchange student from China who experienced what school in the United States was like, and in the summer of 2018 Maison left for six weeks to experience education in China. He stayed in “his” student’s home.

Maison was adopted from China when he was ten months old. “I wanted to see my home country and was really interested in the cultural differences between the US and China,” he explained. He didn’t know if he would ever get an opportunity again to go back to his country of birth so was very excited about this BCPS educational opportunity.

He went to learn more about the history of China, especially the ancient history. “Though I expected to be scared at first going so far from home, I felt welcomed and comfortable with my host family very quickly,” he said.

He thoroughly enjoyed his time in China and found it to be quite a different experience than school in the United States and Maryland. The school day was twelve hours long! School started at 7:30 and went until 6:30 Monday-Thursday and 5:30 on Friday. “I had to learn to be very independent as at times. We had to find our own transportation home and often meals were on me and my student host to figure out as her parents worked long hours as well,” McCafferty said. There was little crime in China, so despite all the people and independence, he felt safe.

At the conclusion of the six weeks, Maison found it a wonderful opportunity he would highly recommend to other Kenwood and BCPS students. It’s an eye-opening experience to live in a different culture for six weeks. Any student that has such an opportunity to experience another country should definitely take advantage.

From staff reports

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Kenwood Student Experiences China Through Cultural Exchange Program