Thirty-six students from Nanshun High School visited us in the iconic city of Los Angeles this November. Led by a dynamic team of enthusiastic UCLA students, they took the opportunity to immerse themselves in a culture and language unlike their own. They challenged their minds with new ways of thinking while delving deep into empowering lessons.

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This program succeeded in boosting Nanshun students’ self-confidence, and gave a space for them to assess their motivations as well as different qualities they see in themselves and each other. They engaged each other in many topics exploring and emphasizing the values of global awareness, intercultural perspective, diversity, biases, assumptions, and fears to continuously expand their mindsets in this three-day program. 

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Encouraged and inspired by these lessons, Nanshun students faced challenges of each day with ease. They put their minds into high gear when presented with complex, hypothetical situations. For example, six different teams of students had to think out of the box and present reasonable to outlandish ideas to find a solution. Student leaders led this process of divergent thinking and convergent thinking by posing thought-provoking questions resulting in practical solutions that would prompt a roar of laughter.

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Not only did Nanshun students have an incredibly enriching learning experience on the campus of UCLA, they were able to go on many enjoyable excursions; Caltech, the world-renowned science and engineering institution, the California Science Center, Hollywood, Westwood, and the Grove. Guest speakers from the field of science, Japanese and American alike, were able to share their passion and personal experiences with them. And students were even inspired by a visit to the world’s leading company in the field of science, which develops cutting-edge technology and products through advanced research. Their opinion of this program was clear, as they loudly and proudly finished their last day with the UCLA fight song.

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❝Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ❞ – Mark Twain