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A glimpse of life in China: Skyping a PRHS grad who lives there

As part of the Union County Public Schools Global Initiative and Outreach program on Thursday, May 28th, students in Dan Korn's Advanced Placement U.S. History classes engaged in a global conversation via Skype with a former Porter Ridge APUSH student, Zachary Williams.

Williams is a university student in China, and also teaches English as a Second Language to Chinese three and four year olds, as well as to adult learners. Williams, who graduated several years ago from PRHS, has traveled extensively throughout China, the Middle East, India/Pakistan and Southeast Asia. His original plan was to go to Vietnam right after high school, teach English and study in Vietnam. After a year or so of that, he began his very extensive traveling, much of it with a backpack and on various bicycles. 

After a brief monologue on his adventures, Williams and the students engaged in a lively question-and-answer session regarding how Americans are perceived around the world and what it is like to be an American traveling or living abroad in exotic locations. A number of the students involved are themselves either immigrants or children of immigrants from the regions involved, particularly Southeast Asia, and it was interesting to hear the discussion between Williams and them, and how things are changing or not changing.

One of his observations was how much the Chinese youth like America, American people, and American culture-such as McDonald's! This is the sort of first-hand experience and knowledge that is difficult for the average American watching cable television to access. (Williams mentioned that no one in China is willing to wait their turn in Chinese fast food places, and lines waiting to be served like Americans know them don't really work.) 

APUSH student Ellen Snelson commented, "It was very exciting to hear about different cultures all over the world from a personal perspective."


Written by: Dan Korn, Social Studies Dept. Chair
Posted: Jun 09, 2015 by Regina Snelson

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