Interest in China has been increasing among university but also among high school students over the past few years. Not only beacuse of the increasing significance of China's science community and economy, but also because China is slowly opening up to the rest of the world. Students and youth would like to learn more about this country. KIT proposes different exchange programs wth China to its students. In order to offer similar opportunities to high school students as prospective KIT students the Student Academy Karlsruhe in cooperation with the Distance Learning Center at KIT's House of Competence (HoC) has organized a special type of exchange program the second time round this year: the Science Exchange Program.
Culture and Science – from a different perspective
Young students from both cultures are encouraged to get to know the other culture and to share their daily life. Only in this way, they can learn about the different points of view and traditions and find out about cultural differences as well as common grounds. At the same time the exchange program aims at proposing a framework within which students can work together with KIT scientists on diverse projects in order to experience cross-cultural cooperation first hand.
These projects took place this summer at KIT, ZKM, as well as within the PTV work group. 18 students of the JingYe Highschool in Shanghai came to Karlsruhe to get to know the German hosts and KIT. Together with German students they worked on seven different projects ranging from Cloud Computing to Technical Biology. More information on these projects can be found on the webpages of the HoC as well as in the KIT-Press-Archive.
In October, high school students from Karlsruhe took out to return the visit. In Shanghai, the students spent one week at the Highschool. They also participated in different projects and discovered Chinese culture first hand (e.g. calligraphy, Peking opera). The Chinese students shared their city and their China with them. In order to get an idea about the history of China, the students also visited the Terracotta Army and the history museum in Xi'an. Of course, they also took a trip to the Great Wall and the Underground City in Beijing, as well as the artist quartier 798 as an example of modern China.
Opportunity to gain competencies
The aim of the project team from the Student Academy (Mrs Dr. Langsdorf; Mr Kahlmeyer) and from HoC (Mr Gauß) was, on the one hand, to offer the opportunity to gain intercultural competencies and apply them directly within the different projects. On the other hand, the students' interest for scientific questions was to be sparked. Thus good students should be informed about KIT as a possible future university.
The INTL team thanks Mr Gauß for this article.