On May 26, 2017, Roger Riske, ERDT President Emeritus; Colin Churchill, ERDT Executive Director; Tracy Gautier, Director, ERDT enVision; & Nicole Winn, Associate Director, ERDT enVision, participated in an all-day conference held in Beijing, China. The conference was organized by ERDT’s Chinese partner, China Service Center for Educational Exchanges (CSCEE) & the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC).
ERDT enVision cooperates with our Chinese partner CSCEE on two programs: the Sociological Research in America (SRA) program & the Volunteering Homestay in America (VHA) program (more information on these programs below).
The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) is one of three major foreign affairs organizations in China charged with the promotion friendship & mutual understanding with foreign countries. The current leader of the CPAFFC is Li Xiaolin, who is the daughter of a former President of China, Li Xiannian (1983-88). That’s a fairly big deal.
Our partner in China, CSCEE, receives recognition & approval from CPAFFC to run programs overseas. It’s not an exact analogy, but CSCEE’s relationship with CPAFFC is something like ERDT’s relationship with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational Affairs in running our High School & Summer Work & Travel J-1 programs.
Here’s a screen shot from the CPAFFC website, showing the CPAFFC President meeting in Beijing with Jerry Brown, Governor of California.
The conference celebrated the 10-year anniversary of CSCEE’s relationship with CPAFFC, & the 10-year CSCEE anniversary of implementing intercultural programs with overseas organizations. The attendees were some 200 officials from Chinese universities that cooperate with CSCEE in recruiting students for CSCEE overseas programs.
The conference was held in the stately CPAFFC building that, at one time in a different Chinese past, was the home of the Italian Embassy. Note the ornate ballroom in which we all gathered for the conference:
Group photo of all participants in front of main building:
Roger, Tracy, & Colin gave presentations during the conference. Although ERDT does not cooperate with CSCEE on the Summer Work & Travel program (ERDT does run the J-1 Summer Work & Travel with other overseas partners), Roger was asked to give conference attendees an overview of the Summer Work & Travel. The J-1 SWT program allows foreign university students to come to the U.S. for a period of up to three months for work legally and then to travel the U.S for one month.
Tracy Gautier, Director of ERDT enVision, presented on a relatively new CSCEE – ERDT program, Volunteering Homestay in America (VHA). This is a program for individual Chinese university students who are placed with local community non-profit organizations to assist in their work & to gain an understanding of the role of NPOs play in addressing social issues in the U.S. Students on this program also have a one-month home stay with a local host family.
Yami Gong, CSCEE’s Program Director, acted as interpreter for our presentations:
Colin Churchill, ERDT Executive Director, presented on the CSCEE – enVision program Sociological Research in America (SRA). The SRA program is a 21-day program for Chinese university students who make a comparative analysis of education, healthcare, public safety, public service and volunteerism, and family life in the U.S. and China through on-site visits, content workshops, and a home stay with an American host family. ERDT & CSCEE have been cooperating on this program since 2010. Nearly 4,000 Chinese university students have participated in this program since its inception.
Roger, Tracy, & Colin received sterling support from Nicole Winn, Associate Director of enVision, pictured here with Tracy & Yami Gong:
Conference attendees also heard presentations from Jerry Wang, President of CSCEE (pictured below); Chinese university teachers who participated in programs as group leaders; and most importantly from Chinese students themselves who have participated in SRA, SWT, & VHA programs in the U.S.
ERDT’s participation in this conference is a further indication of the deep and productive relationship we have with our partner in China, CSCEE. We look forward to many more years of work together, and, furthermore, an expansion of programs under the auspices of ERDT enVision here in the U.S. involving Chinese students of all educational levels.
Roger & Tracy sum it up: