Six Chinese students to visit

Sammi Handler

Six high school students from Shanghai will visit the school and stay with Harvard-Westlake students Feb. 7 -19, marking the first time the school will participate in a World Leading Schools exchange program.

WLSA is an organization founded by Harvard-Westlake, Eton College, Greelong Grammar School, Groton School, Beijing No. 4 School and a Chinese high school affiliated with Fudan University in 2011 to “bridge cultural differences, promote further understanding among secondary schools and improve collaboration between leading schools and institutions of higher education around the world,” according to the WLSA website.

The students will shadow Harvard-Westlake students and visit other classes to experience what it is like to be a high school student in the United States. Since the program at Fudan is designed to prepare students to continue their education outside of China, the students will tour USC and UCLA.

“The purpose of having exchange programs is to allow students from different backgrounds to get to know each other and to really see what it’s like to grow up in different cultures in different parts of the world,” said Jim Patterson, who is the director of the Kutler Center and Summer Programs.

While the school has participated in WLSA programs in the past, this is the first time that students will participate in an exchange program, Patterson said. Last summer, four students interned in China and stayed with host families as a part of a WLSA internship program. Three of them, Jon Nelson ’16, Jed Kronenberg ’17 and Theo Velaise ’17 will host students.

“When I heard there were kids coming, [from China] I really wanted to host because of how great a time I had over the summer staying with a host family,” Kronenberg said. “I want to give a kid a really great experience here, just like I had in China.”

Nina Woythaler ’16, Katherine Sing ’16 and Kathryn Tian ’17 will also host students.