By Jueseppi B.
Michelle Obama is going to China this month and wants advice on what to do when she gets there.
Sure, the State Department is involved in the planning. But the first lady sought help on Tuesday from sixth-graders at a Washington public charter school who visited the Asian powerhouse last year. The school has a dual English and Mandarin Chinese immersion program.
The students gave her tips on dealing with jet lag and pick pocketers. They told her that people will stare at her because she’s the president’s wife, and to bring hand sanitizer.
Mrs. Obama also learned a few choice Chinese phrases.
The first lady announced Monday that she will travel to China from March 19-26, with several stops including Beijing.
Remarks by the First Lady at Chinese Immersion School Visit
Yu Ying Public Charter School
1:41 P.M. EST
MRS. OBAMA: (Applause.) I’m delighted to be here. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’m going to take a trip in a couple of weeks to China, and I heard that you all took a very similar trip. Did everybody here go on the trip? How many people went to China? Yes.
Well, you guys are going to help me out with my trip because you’re going to prep me. See, I have all of these wonderful policy people that help me prep, but I figured since you actually visited some of the cities that I’m going to go to that I would get a good sense of what to expect, what you learned, what you liked, what you didn’t like, some of the questions that you think I should ask and be prepared for.
Because I do a lot of international travel, and everywhere I go I try to focus on education. Because one of the things that I want to learn from young people in China is what works for them, what keeps them motivated to keep working hard, studying hard in school. And I also want to take kids from America with me on those trips. If they can’t do it physically, I want them to be following what I do.
Because what you guys probably learned is that being able to go to another country and learn about other cultures and traditions, that’s a real gift. Not a lot of kids get to do that, but it’s going to be important as you grow up and you get jobs and you start living in a world that is a very global world. It’s important to know about other cultures, other traditions.
And so that’s why we’re here, because you guys are already ahead of the curve. And your school is a model for what hopefully more schools in this country will do to expose kids to other countries. So I’m excited to hear what you have to say. I’m going to stop talking. My job is to listen now, okay? Take it away.
11:22 AM EST
Note: Visit WhiteHouse.gov/First-Lady-China-Visit to sign up for email updates from the First Lady and get the latest news about the trip.
On March 19th, I’ll be heading to China for an official visit – and I want young people like you across America to join me.
Over the past five years as First Lady, I’ve traveled around the world – to countries like Mexico, India, South Africa, Ireland and others across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America – and China is another important stop on this journey. With more than 1.3 billion people, China is the most populous country on earth, and it plays an important role on the world stage.
My husband and I take the time to visit countries like China because we know that today, more than ever before, our lives here in America are connected to the lives of people around the world.
Companies here in America do business with – and compete with – companies across the globe. With the click of a button, you can connect with kids on every continent, and last year alone, more than 283,000American high school and college students studied in more than 190 different countries (China is actually the fifth most popular place for American students to study abroad, and more students come from China to study in the U.S. than from any other country). And no matter what country we live in, we’re all facing so many of the same challenges – from ensuring that students get a good education; to fighting poverty, hunger and disease; to addressing threats to our planet like climate change.
These issues affect every last one of us, so it’s critically important that young people like you learn about what’s going on not just here in America, but around the world. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, soon, all of you will be leading the way. You’ll be discovering the cures, inventing the technologies, building the businesses, and making the laws that will shape our future for generations to come. And you’ll need to do these things together, working with others around the world – so you’ll need to be familiar with cultures, languages, and traditions that are very different from your own.
That’s why everywhere I go, whether it’s here in the U.S. or abroad, I meet with young people to hear about your challenges, hopes and dreams – and that’s what I’ll be doing in China as well. During my trip, I’ll be visiting a university and two high schools in Beijing and Chengdu(which are two of China’s largest cities). I’ll be talking with students about their lives in China and telling them about America and the values and traditions we hold dear. I’ll be focusing in particular on the power and importance of education, both in my own life and in the lives of young people in both of our countries. I’ll also be visiting various historical and cultural sites in China, and I look forward to sharing with you the stories of the students I meet, as well as the interesting facts I learn about Chinese history and culture.
I’ll be posting a daily travel blog, complete with videos and photos, and I’ll be taking – and answering – questions from kids across America as I go.
I hope you’ll join me – all you have to do is get online:
- Go to WhiteHouse.gov to check out my travel blog, and you can even sign up for a daily email update delivered to your inbox.
- Explore educational resources about China and join virtual events with PBS LearningMedia and Discovery Education.
- Follow me on Twitter @FLOTUS and on Instagram@MichelleObama for the latest updates from the road and for chances to ask questions during the visit.
I look forward to sharing this important trip with you.
First Lady Michelle Obama to Travel to China March 19-26, 2014
The First Lady will travel to China from March 19-26, 2014. She will be visiting Beijing from March 20-23, Xi’an on March 24, and Chengdu from March 25-26. During her trip, the First Lady will meet with Madame Peng, the spouse of China’s President Xi Jinping. She will also visit a university and a high school in Beijing, and a high school in Chengdu. Additional details about the First Lady’s trip will be announced in the coming weeks. Accompanying Mrs. Obama on this trip will be her mother, Mrs. Marian Robinson, and daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama.
During the trip to China, as on previous international trips to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the First Lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.
She will also be visiting important historical and cultural sites in China, and will share with students in the U.S. the stories of the students she meets in China, as well as interesting facts about China’s history and culture – emphasizing the importance of students learning from one another globally.
PBS LearningMedia and Discovery Education will offer engagement opportunities for young people surrounding the trip, along with resources available for U.S. classrooms that explore the culture, geography, current events and people of China.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Washington, DC * 2:00 PM – As part of her focus on education and reaching out to students for her upcoming trip to China, First Lady Michelle Obama will visit the Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School – a Chinese-immersion, International Baccalaureate, elementary school in Washington, DC. At the event, Mrs. Obama will encourage students around the U.S. to follow her trip. The First Lady will deliver brief, informal remarks following a 6th grade presentation on their 2013 trip to China. The First Lady will also visit with pre-Kindergarten students in their classroom to experience their language learning firsthand. The First Lady’s remarks and the 6th grade presentation will be open press; the visit with Pre-Kindergarten students will be covered by a pool.
Yu Ying – meaning nurturing excellence – takes its name from a groundbreaking girls school founded in 1911 in Beijing, China. Established by a former Imperial Lady-in-Waiting, Madame Tzen-Kuei Wang, the Yu Ying School offered classroom education at a time when the centuries-old tutorial system was still the norm in China. The school was a powerful force for educational change in China.
To Beijing, Xi’an, and Chengdu
The First Lady will travel to China from March 19-26, 2014. She will be visiting Beijing from March 20-23, Xi’an on March 24, and Chengdu from March 25-26. And she’s inviting students and classrooms across the U.S. to follow her trip.
During her trip to China, as on previous international trips to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the First Lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.
She will also be visiting important historical and cultural sites in China, and will share with students in the U.S. the stories of the students she meets in China, as well as interesting facts about China’s history and culture — emphasizing the importance of students learning from one another globally.
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Beijing, Charter school, Chengdu, China, Discovery Education, Family of Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama to Travel to China March 19-26 2014, International Baccalaureate, Mandarin Chinese, Michelle Obama, Politics Tagged: | Asia, United States, United States Department of State, Washington, Xi Jinping | 15 Comments »