Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Student's visit to China launches 2013 'Armchair Travelers'

From Special Reports

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Once a month, the Newnan Carnegie Library offers a travel program, “Armchair Travelers,” as part of its adult/senior and student enrichment programs.

Through the Armchair Traveler program, patrons are able to travel around the world from the comfort of their library chair. Last year alone, guest speakers presented programs that covered the globe with exotic destinations such as The Holy Lands, Madagascar, Japan, Greece, Hawaii and Aruba.

To kick off a new year of travel programs, the Carnegie hosted guest speaker and student from The Heritage School Jesse Riggs.

Riggs had the privilege of travelling with The Confucious Institute, sponsored by Emory University, to China, visiting two major cities: Beijing and Jilin. This is not the first time a program has been presented on China at the Carnegie, however, this program provided a unique, student perspective.

Riggs started course studies in Chinese during his junior year at Heritage School. Through learning the language from instructor Elizabeth Kanode, of Chinese descent, he envisions possibilities in the future that may incorporate use of the language in business and career pursuits. He excelled in his class and was recommended to go with The Confucius Institute to China and was one of 11 students chosen in the state.

While in China, he continued his studies. He stayed at a local university in Jilin along with several other students selected from across the United States. While there for their two-week stay, U.S. students were paired with local Chinese students. Through this opportunity, he was able to form friendships and learn more about the Chinese culture.

The student travelers were also engaged in the visual arts, literary writing, and the intricacies of Chinese dance. As part of their extracurricular activities, students visited many historic sites and parks with stops at the venues of the 2008 Olympics, The Great Wall, the Jilin Museum and the Forbidden City.

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