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The Wake Forest University China Initiative has begun! A group of 16 (or so) individuals affiliated with Wake Forest are gathering in Shanghai July 6-16, 2012 to explore available options to further develop the University’s global programs. Dr. Linda McKinnish Bridges, Office of the Provost for Global Affairs and Office of Undergraduate Admissions, has put together a diverse group of individuals representing many areas in the University.

The main event of the week will be a concert by Dr. Peter Kairoff as a way of thanking the parents here in China for entrusting their children to Wake Forest for their college education. Four WFU students who are here assisting us in Shanghai are Ms. Xizi Liao, Ms. Jenny Li, Ms. Grace Wang, and Mr. Jacob Blackwell.

China is 12 hours ahead of Winston-Salem, so it took all of us a day and one half to arrive. Most of us were here in time to begin with a day of sightseeing on Wednesday, led by WFU alum Monica Kitt ’10, who now lives and works in Shanghai. She led us on an active tour of the city, starting with the wonderful Yuyuan Garden,

followed by a delicious lunch of Shanghainese dumplings. After that, most of the afternoon was spent supporting the local economy, first at a nice fabric market, where many of us were fitted for custom-made traditional Chinese dresses to wear at the banquet following the concert on Saturday night. There were so many of us that we wore the poor tailor out! After a quick visit to the “fake market” (just what you would imagine), we re-grouped to give a 3 hour Admissions event at the local Shi Xi High School. The group of approximately 75 students and parents were a little overwhelmed but very interested and grateful at the size of the delegation from Wake Forest. Here is a picture of Dr. Bridges, assisted by WFU student Jenny Li, giving the first part of the presentation.