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Press Release  
Release Date: Monday, August 6, 2012 5:27 PM
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Media Contact:
Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
Howard Freshmen Learning, Collecting Memories During Tour of China, Japan

SHANGHAI, China – There is no lack of sights, sounds, and education for the 35 members of the Howard University Freshman Leadership Academy (FLA) that arrived in the world’s most populous nation to begin their tour of China and later Japan.

The team began in Shanghai, the largest city by population and the economic engine of the People’s Republic of China.

While touring the country’s most cosmopolitan city, students visited the U.S. Consulate General on Wednesday for a presentation on the Consulate’s work on environmental sustainability and technology in Shanghai. Thursday included visits to the Jade Buddha Temple, an auto factory that makes luxury cars with a name that few outside of China would recognize, and had opportunities to practice Mandarin with Chinese students who are learning English.

They saw the Yu Garden, a showplace of classical Chinese landscaping dating back to 1537, and toured the shops that line colorful Nanjing Road.

"As young African American students crossing boundaries and breaking barriers that exist between East Asian and American culture, we function as ambassadors of Howard University and are honored to carry its name internationally," said Jasmine Nicole Price-Tillery, a sophomore English and Psychology major from San Francisco.

The team will visit universities, businesses and cultural and historic sites in China and Japan during their 19-day excursion Students will explore global trends, business practices and learn about Chinese and Japanese history, education and leadership through lectures and cultural immersion.

The experiences are designed to broaden students’ appreciation of world cultures and languages, improve their intercultural communication skills and increase awareness of what it means to be a global citizen.

"The Freshman Leadership Academy's studies and cultural immersion in Asia build on President Ribeau's vision for expanding Howard's international footprint and answers the call of President Obama's 100,000 Strong Initiative," said Barbara Griffin, Ph.D., vice president for Student Affairs. “Today’s students must become globally competent citizens in order to be competitive and truly effective in our increasingly interconnected world.”

In Japan, students will tour the world’s most populous city, Tokyo, as well as two smaller cities, Hakone and Nikko.

Julie Chang Andrist, a Chinese lecturer and pre-professional advisor in the Howard University College of Arts and Sciences, and three staff members are traveling with the group. Andrist is leading intense Mandarin sessions and mini-seminars on the Chinese culture and education system prior to and during the visit.

This is FLA’s second trip to China.

 “After last year’s inaugural trip to China, many of the members of FLA were inspired to study critical languages including Mandarin and others are studying abroad this summer and next fall.” Griffin added.

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