Wethli, an IUP student majoring in Asian Studies and philosophy, has been
selected from a nationwide pool to represent the United States in a three-week
program this summer in China.
from Cranberry Township, was one of 30 American students picked to be a part of
the 2018 China-US Student Leaders Academy with the Zhi-Xing
“I am very excited about meeting like-minded Chinese and
American students,” Wethli said. “I really enjoy learning the new perspectives
and thoughts of people through conversation. This is always especially
interesting when traveling abroad.”
Wethli was selected for the
fellowship following an application process. Some of the main criteria for
selection are academic excellence and strong leadership skills, verbal and
written skills, and some ability to speak the Chinese language.
Launched in 2017, the Zhi-Xing China
Fellowship is a highlight of US-China People-to-People Exchange, sponsored
by the US Secretary of State and its Chinese counterpart, with the goal
of inspiring and building connections between the next generation of
global leaders in the United States and China.
Sixty college students—30 from the
United States and 30 from China—are selected for the program, which combines
seminars and lectures with field visits. It culminates with the students
presenting their findings on the trip.
big part of the fellowship is centered around the idea of increasing
cooperation and mutual understanding between the United States and China,”
Wethli said. “I hope to be participating in activities and projects that allow
me to help create further cultural understanding and awareness.”
fellowship will cover the costs of Wethli’s three-week trip, including round-trip
international air fares, visa application fee, as well as transportation,
lodging, and meals.
trip, which will be from July 29 to August 18, will be Wethli’s third to China.
Through other programs at IUP, he attended a summer program in 2016 at Sichuan
University, and another in the fall 2017 semester at Nanjing University.
think the United States and China are very different in many ways, and we should
appreciate these differences,” Wethli said. “We can learn a lot from Chinese
culture, and I think many Americans do not realize that. I also would like to
help Chinese students gain an increased understanding of US culture.
hope to gain an increased understanding of Chinese culture and further develop
my leadership abilities. My goal is to come back with a more in-depth vision of
how can use my experiences in a career in my future.”
Wethli has taken five Chinese
language courses at IUP. He has been an active member of the Chinese Language
and Culture Club, and was its president in 2016–17 and part of the 2017–18
IUP faculty member Shijuan Liu is
the advisor of the Chinese Language and Culture Club.