Selah students host Chinese exchange students - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Selah students host Chinese exchange students

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SELAH, WA - An unforgettable summer experience for Selah Middle School students: they're living with exchange students from China.

The kids have gone on field trips, like visiting Seattle. But the program is also about education.

For a few minutes, 14 students from Macau, China host their own cooking show. Breaking up into groups, the students demonstrate step-by-step how to make pigs in a blanket, Rice Krispies treats, and icy fruit smoothies. 

The SHARE exchange program stands for both schools (Selah and Hou Kong), Academics, Relationships, and Experiences. It's designed to develop international friendships between both countries. The English and Chinese students learn what they have in common and also what's different.

"I'm going to talk about the house!" said Marco Lei, one of the Chinese exchange students. "It's so big and so comfortable and so nice. We never have such a big house in our city." 

Central Washington University provides the opportunity for student teachers to have a teaching experience at Hou Kong Premier Middle School. Superintendent Shane Backlund was invited to lead professional development opportunities in November at Hou Kong Premier School. While Shane was there, Hou Kong's Principal asked him if we would consider hosting a summer camp experience.

The Chinese students live with a host family and go to an American school. The catch? They have to speak English - full-time - for two weeks. 

They've gone on field trips; going to the movies and visiting Mt. Rainier. But more than that? The students get their first genuine American experience.

"Americans are so friendly and they like to make friends and they're so nice like helping people," said Lei. "This kinda feeling makes me feel so warm and we never have such a feeling in China. So it is amazing for me to learn this kind of stuff and (it's) something that we can learn from Americans." 

The Chinese exchange students are only in town for a few more days. They fly back to China on Saturday afternoon.

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