CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- WorldStrides, the largest and most trusted educational travel provider in the United States, is partnering with the 100,000 Strong Foundation to strengthen relations between the U.S. and China by encouraging study abroad. WorldStrides is the exclusive educational travel partner of the foundation and will be a featured guest at its Inaugural Annual Conference on Nov. 21 at American University in Washington, D.C.
The conference will feature keynote speakers U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong, the highest ranking woman in the Chinese government. The conference will also feature other notable speakers in government, business, and academia who support the 100,000 Strong mission, including WorldStrides CEO Jim Hall and Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman.
The 100,000 Strong Foundation was created out of the U.S. Department of State's "100,000 Strong Initiative," which seeks to realize President Barack Obama's call for 100,000 Americans to study in China by the end of 2014. The foundation was launched in January 2013 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Through its own programs, WorldStrides annually supports nearly 2,500 students traveling to China.
"Experiential travel broadens students' minds, shapes their futures, and changes their lives. At WorldStrides, we've been doing that for almost 50 years," Hall said. "We are so excited to be a partner with the 100,000 Strong Foundation and to help shape the next generation of U.S. leaders through study in China."
This summer, WorldStrides will host its first U.S.-China Student Summit in China, including a two-day exchange at Peking University between university and select high school students from both countries. The two-day exchange is the capstone of a nearly two-week exploration of China's culture, history, and economy throughout Shanghai and Beijing. Following the Summit, students have the opportunity to extend their time in China to study at Peking University or participate in an arranged internship.
WorldStrides is pleased to be accompanied at the 100,000 Strong Annual Conference by representatives of more than 80 U.S. universities, including Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Vassar, who have expressed support for the foundation's mission and developing a student delegation for the 2014 US-China Student Summit. Also accompanying WorldStrides at the 100,000 Strong Conference is a delegation of 15 education and government leaders from China, who will travel with WorldStrides to their headquarters in Charlottesville, Va., tour a local high school, and visit with Charlottesville Mayor Satyendra Singh Huja. The educators represent some of the top high schools, universities, and educational organizations in China, including Director Hu Yixiong of Peking University, consistently ranked one of China's top schools, and Secretary General Shao Wei of the China Education Association for International Exchange.
WorldStrides, a portfolio organization of the Carlyle Group, is headquartered in Charlottesville. The organization has offices in 16 other locations around the world including China, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Based in Shanghai, WorldStrides China partners with top Chinese schools, government organizations, and businesses to offer unique academic and cultural exchange opportunities for students in both the United States and China.
WorldStrides, founded by a middle school teacher in 1967, is the largest student educational travel organization in the United States and is accredited as a school by the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. WorldStrides specializes in providing educational travel opportunities to approximately 300,000 students annually. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., and with offices throughout the U.S. and overseas, more than 5,000 elementary, middle and high schools, and more than 250 universities choose WorldStrides to provide inspiring lessons beyond the classroom. For more information on WorldStrides, visit www.worldstrides.com. For more information on WorldStrides 2014 US-China Student Summit, visit chinastudentsummit.org.