Sister cities  

UWL students interact with middle school students from Luoyang, China during a two-week visit to La Crosse. A sister city relationship started between La Crosse and Luoyang more than 20 years ago.

UWL strengthens sister city educational bonds with Luoyang, China

Chinese middle school student Yan Jiayu, 13, thought American students didn’t have study-related stress. Meeting UW-La Crosse students in winter 2016, those perceptions melted.

Many of the UWL students Jiayu met worked on weekends and were just as busy during the week with school and other obligations. “… they have to work hard to go to a good university,” said Jiayu. “They are just as hard working as us.”

Every winter about 20 middle school students from Luoyang, China, visit La Crosse to learn American culture and English language with support from the city, La Crosse School District and UWL. For the first time this year, the Chinese students met with UWL education students as part of their two-week travel itinerary. UWL students introduced the kids to winter favorites including hot chocolate, cross-country skiing, and other activities related to American culture.

Another program for middle school students, the US Classroom English and Culture Summer Academy, begins July 8. It offers international students cultural experiences and interactions for mastery of the English language. A group of students from Daqing, in the northern China, is attending this summer. Next year, attendance is expected to expand to students from Luoyang Middle School.

These international connections demonstrate just a couple of ways UWL’s School of Education, Professional & Continuing Education is building its bonds with La Crosse’s sister city in Luoyang, China — a partnership that celebrated 20 years in 2016.

Another important way is a new UWL student study abroad program in Luoyang, China that ran May 22-June 17. The majority of the participants were education majors.

Marcie Wycoff-Horn, dean of the School of Education, Professional & Continuing Education, says understanding other cultures prepares future teachers to enter classrooms that are growing increasingly diverse.

“It allows them to bring another lens to the classroom,” says Wycoff-Horn. “They look at the world differently and approach teaching differently — with not just the academic learning goal in mind, but, really, the whole child.”

Education leaders from Luoyang see similar benefits. These middle school students will be tomorrow’s leaders in a global society, says Li Cai-xia,?director of Foreign Affairs Office of Luoyang No. 2?Foreign Language?School.

“They will need to be culturally sensitive and understand the value of diversity in a multicultural environment,” says Cai-xia. “The opportunity to continue and strengthen our relationship with UW-La Crosse School of Education provides the means to help us prepare our students to be active members in the multicultural world that is tomorrow.”

Read the full story in the Eagle Edge newsletter.

La Crosse’s Sister City relationships

La Crosse has Sister City relationships with seven cities worldwide:  Dubna, Russia;?Epinal, France;?Førde, Norway;Friedberg, Germany;?Luoyang, China; and?The Republic of Cameroon, Kumbo, West Africa.

——

Photo: [ChinesePartners2] UWL students interact with middle school students from Luoyang, China during a two-week visit to La Crosse. A sister city relationship started between La Crosse and Luoyang more than 20 years ago.