Senior Tori Anderson traveled to China over Christmas Break for a select opportunity to discuss global citizenship issues with students from across the globe.
Anderson attended the 2019 Shenzhen International High School Students Forum in Shenzhen, China. She was one of more than 100 students from around the world selected to attend the Forum. Students participating in the program hailed from the United States, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Germany, the Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong, and China. Director of International Student Programs Ms. Lynda Ann Loring accompanied Anderson on the trip.
Shenzhen Senior High School hosted the Forum. The School is the fourth top school in Shenzhen, a bustling city of 20 million, and is highly-selective in admission - out of 80,000 who apply to attend, only 9,000 are admitted as students.
The Forum held speeches and roundtable discussions all centered around the topics of “Civilization Diversity and the Construction of a Community with a Shared Destiny” and “Relationship between Civilization Inclusiveness and Economic Prosperity.” Anderson presented at a roundtable discussion on the latter. She was also invited to make one of the two forum summation speeches at the closing ceremony.
"I fell in love with the whole experience. The students were treated like world leaders, and an array of nationalities we were represented. Coming from a school so well versed in the promotion of diversity, the aim of cultural inclusivity outlined in the conference resolutions was worth aligning with,” said Anderson. “Conversation was productive and enlightening; I am honored to have been invited to speak before such an impressive group. Most importantly, I have never received such a warm welcome! A student at the Shenzhen Senior High School by the name of Angel was our volunteer guide, and she could not have been any more lovely. The long journey was made worthwhile by a conference with such a valuable purpose, attended by such wonderful people!"
The students who attended the Forum also had the opportunity to explore some of what the modern city of Shenzhen had to offer. They traveled together to visit a museum on the history of the city which is the gateway to free-trade in China and saw Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company. The group also enjoyed a traditional Chinese meal at a famous restaurant in Shenzhen.
Anderson and Loring were able to connect with some Rabun Gap families, as well. They were treated to a delicious traditional Chinese meal by the families of students Leo Zhang ‘22, Summer Tian ‘ 23, and Vivian Guo ‘ 24.
“We left Shenzhen having made friends, experienced the great Chinese food and wonderful hospitality of the Shenzhen Senior High School,” said Loring. “While it did cut into Tori's and my Christmas holiday, we both feel the sacrifice of time with family and friends was worth the investment that was made into the future of global inclusiveness and the equity of economic prosperity.”