WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Eight high-achieving Chinese teen-agers -- ages 16 or 17 -- are touring the U.S. northeast looking at elite colleges they may apply to -- and one of their stops was Williamstown.
The eight students are from Changsha, the capital city of Hunan Province. They are on a 12-day tour covering 19 universities and colleges -- Columbia, Barnard, Fordham, Kean, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Loyola (Baltimore), Rutgers, Skidmore, Williams, Amherst, Harvard, MIT, Boston University,Babson, RISD/Brown, Connecticut College, Wesleyan, and Yale - for the purpose of giving them a first-hand experience with the college selection and admissions process.
The students and their instructor, Stephen Wilmarth, arrive in Williamstown on Friday, July 15, ate dinner at an Indian restaurant and attended the Williamstown Theatre Festival's "free theater" production of Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors."
On Saturday morning, they visited with the New England News Forum and answered questions about their aspirations, their biggest surprises about their first visit to the United States, their use of technology, what the care about and why their parents are willing to commit to $100,000 or more to underwrite college outside of China.
In a 43-minute video, the students talk about their parents, their school, what the care about, how they find and use the news, and offer some admirable perspectives on human behavior and aspirations. They are surprised at how rural parts of the northeast appear, how many old buildings there are, and how polite people are with each other.
(Due to a video-editing error, in the introduction, the Clark Art Institute is not identified in the audio narrative when its directional sign is shown.)