As part of North Springs High School’s relationship with Mingde High School, located in China, 13 Chinese students participated in a cultural exchange program, mirroring North Springs’ sending of some students to Mingde during the 2014-2015 school year.
Mingde High School is located near Shanghai, China in a city named Taicang. It is in the suburbs of Shanghai, with a similar distance existing between Sandy Springs and Atlanta and Taicang and Shanghai. It is a city of moderate size with around 430,000 individuals compared to Sandy Springs with around 100,000.
The 13 students and two teachers stayed with local host families. “It was a real honor to host one of the Chinese students,” said Junior Sophie Lewman.
Along with Lewman, a few North Springs families hosted the rest of the families. When the Chinese students were not at North Springs, they toured Atlanta, visiting Georgia Tech, the Georgia Aquarium, and and the World of Coke.
While at North Springs, they spent some of their time in the classroom. Some of the students were amazed by the differences between their school and North Springs. “It is just so big here,” commented one of the students, Ming. Ming went on to contrast how his school is a boarding school and how his school seemed to be more intense.
Planning and implementation of the program was lead by both schools; North Springs saw most planning was done by Carol Ciepluch, Jiaxing Weng, and Adrianna Kimbrel. “It was a lot of work, but it paid off nicely,” commented Ciepluch.
All in all, the experience was positive for both North Springs students and Mingde students. “I am so happy that the Chinese students came to North Springs. We got to participate in such an amazing exchange of ideas and thoughts,” commented Sophomore Barry Hudgins.