A growing number of Americans are expected to study in China after United States President Barack Obama called for increased student exchanges between the two countries.
Such cooperation is increasingly important amid growing Sino-US relations, according to Carola McGiffert, president of 100,000 Strong Foundation, a national movement to ensure the next generation of Americans is equipped to engage effectively with China.
“American students [and graduates] can collaborate with their Chinese counterparts after learning from each other,” McGiffert told reporters in Hong Kong.
She expects closer collaboration on climate change, public health and economic issues.
“US students can establish contacts in China and better understand the culture that will enable them to work there,” she said.
The foundation has established a fund to tackle environmental challenges through innovation.
It will be launched in Hong Kong next spring, McGiffert said.
The fund supports related projects in environmental sustainability, the foundation said in September.
It also helps programs that bring American and Chinese students together to develop solutions to environmental challenges faced by both countries.
The foundation encourages American students to study Mandarin. Between 2010 and 2012, it raised US$15 million to support the program.
Meanwhile, the number of Chinese students in the US rose 23 percent last year compared with a 5 percent increase in the number of Americans studying in China, the foundation said.
Altogether, there are 12 Chinese students in the US for one American student in China.
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