Dear Parents of APSA Scholars:
We are coming to the end of what from our perspective has been a fantastic summer. From what we have seen of your children here, they seem to share the view that it’s been a great few weeks. I know they are excited to be heading home to see you all soon, but some perhaps are sad to say good bye to China and their new friends here. We hope in the next few days when you see your children again, you will see the personal growth and maturity that we have seen them all develop over the last few weeks.
As we get ready to send everyone home, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your trust in us sending your children so far from home and for everything you have already done to make them the young adults we welcomed here who were ready to challenge themselves with new experiences and embrace their time in China. As we said to the students at the beginning of the summer, each was selected because of a “spark” that said they were ready for this experience, and they have done everything to make the most of their time here. So thank you.
The experience that your children had here in China has been our primary focus for many months, but their experience here is also part of something bigger. With the 32 students who came to China this summer, APSA has now brought a total of 100 students to China on full scholarship since 2008. As we continue to grow, we hope that our alumni network is also a support network for your children as they continue to explore international opportunities.
Some of our alumni from previous years are already showing the way for this year’s group about how to continue their study of Chinese and international exploration. Three of our alumni have been in various summer language programs in Beijing this summer. Another is on an internship in Hong Kong. A student from 2009 just finished a year of study in Beijing, and another is now enrolled in a Chinese university. Your children have already met some of these alumni, and we hope that they will stay connected with us and with the other alums as we grow together.
This summer is part of something larger in another way as well. Since we started APSA, we have always aimed to design our program in a way that would have a positive impact on the students who participated and also the larger community. We hoped to set an example for what is possible in international education and to bring new resources into public schools. In the past, we have sought to deliver on these larger goals by helping our students to testify to local school boards or speak publicly about their experience.
This past week we made an exciting step forward in this larger effort. Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and Secretary of State Clinton met to highlight the importance of having more Americans study in China. Will.i.am has agreed to direct a concert in Beijing that we at APSA are organizing to highlight the importance of educational and cultural ties between the United States and China. (You can see the State Department press release below.) This is a giant step for us and will help us expand our activities and support more opportunities for students like your children to come to China. We will keep you posted on our progress, and please check our web site for new updates.
As we embark on this growth, we will need help in many ways. Your words, actions, and donations can help us achieve our goals together. Please tell us about your child’s experience. As we reach out to new supporters, nothing is more convincing about the power of study abroad than the words of the students and parents who have been part of the program. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us. We will have new things happening in many of the cities we work with, and we can always use help. And finally, if you are interested in supporting this effort financially, donations in any amount make a huge difference.
Thank you for everything you have already done. We look forward to staying in touch with your children and all of you.
Ted Dean, Michael Dardzinski, Paula Koda, and Ada Shen
Americans Promoting Study Abroad, Board of Directors
To contact us email, email@example.com
To follow us on twitter or donate, visit our web site www.apsaglobal.org.