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Liaoning Province Shiyan High School - 2014 Summer Youth Leadership Program

Date:2014-09-11   Author:IESC   From:IESC

With the beautiful sunshine and the fresh breeze of August 2014, IESC team welcomed students from Liaoning Shiyan High School (Shenyang) and Liaoning Shiyan High School Yingkou campus, in total of 61 students, to the Columbia Youth Leadership Program (CYLP). Starting from world-famous metropolitan city New York to the capital of the United States Washington D.C., students travelled in a 14-day program as group and participated in training program at Columbia University focusing on leadership development, public speaking, and cross-culture communication. 

The first several days started at Teachers College Columbia University, learning with professors, listening to admissions information presented by the undergraduate admission officer, and practicing their leadership skills in teams. “I learned a lot from the team work practice activity, everyone has his own role, and we need to work together as a team, not as an individual”, a student in the training shared his learning after doing the tennis ball teamwork practice. Towards the end of the training, each student delivered an English presentation based on his or her observation of the Columbia community and the New York City. Each student was asked to work in a team, and each team had to choose their own theme for the presentation. Every student gave their best effort and did a very good job in delivering his or her own presentation, as well as contributing their parts to developing the theme for their teams. 

For this summer, the training was about “I, team & community”. It was aimed at broadening students’ perspective,  improving their self-awareness in order to developing their potential in working and leading a team. The training drew attention to oneself in relationship with one’s residing community, asking students to pay attention to their surroundings. Students learned many different aspects of leadership, from in-classroom lessons at Columbia to their everyday encounters traveling in the United States. To better guide students’ experiences and increase their awareness, IESC group leaders also told stories of American culture, as well as their personal experience living and studying in the U.S. “The three leaders’ stories are very interesting, they did a very good job in explaining the American culture and many other things. I have learned a lot.” one student expressed her joy at the end of the program.

Besides training in Columbia University and sightseeing in New York City, the students also travelled to other famous historical cities, including Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Boston. They learned and tried new things everyday. Being high school students, they were keen in knowing the differences between Chinese and American education system, especially for undergraduate colleges in the U.S. During the trip, students had chance to see various kinds of universities, including Ivy League schools and liberal arts colleges. Some colleges were in the large modern cities; yet others were in peaceful suburbs. Students experienced difference of college culture, as well as hearing various personal introductions made by student representatives of those universities. Based on their own experience and choice of most liked university, students were asked to complete an English essay titled My Favorite University.

Only a short visit of 14 days, students learned and grew together from their training, from everyday observation of the life in America, and from their own travel experience. They enjoyed their various museum visits . Many students expressed their appreciations of IESC designed museum experience, and would like to see more museums if they return to the US next time. With a nearly hundred percent satisfaction of the program, and the organization of the whole trip, a wonderful summer experience was shared among students from China and IESC staff in the US. IESC staff is looking forward to stay in touch with those students. We wish them all the best, and good luck! 

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