Good News: Lessons on both sides of exchange program

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - The world is getting a little smaller for some youngsters on Hilton Head Island this week.

Students from different sides of the world are spending the week sharing a classroom and a bond.

Six exchange students from China are also teaching some things to their hosts during the week they are spending at Hilton Head Elementary School as part of the American Chinese Educational Exchange program.

"They are teaching us new words,'' said Abbey Mehle, a third-grade teacher at Hilton Head Elementary. "The other day, they did a fan dance for us and they demonstrated some Kung Fu.''

The Chinese students are staying with host families and are trying to explore American culture and improve their English skills while they are here. However, the education goes both ways.

"I had a conversation with one of them the other day,'' said fifth-grader, Agnes Gross, "and they taught me how to pronounce some words I didn't know how to say correctly.''

This is the first time Hilton Head Elementary has hosted students from China.

As the youngsters share time in the classroom together, they have also grown closer by sharing parts of their own lives.

"They described their day to the children,'' Mehle said of the exchange students. "So, our children are getting more of an understanding of the similarities and differences between themselves and their Chinese counterparts.''

The exchange students arrived in the U.S. last week and will be staying until Sunday.

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