Fifteen Peking University Students Attend Andover Classes

Fifteen Peking University students stopped by the Andover campus this Tuesday to learn more about the education system in the United States. The students visited Harvard University earlier in the week. Their trip was sponsored by the Harvard China Fund, which was established in 2006 to “prepare Harvard students for their lifelong engagement with China and to support Chinese students coming to Harvard for graduate and professional education,” according to the fund’s website. Peter Merrill, Coordinator of the Global Perspectives Group (GPG), was contacted last spring by Maggie Zong, Associate Director of the Harvard China Fund, about the possibility of having the students visit Andover. GPG is a multidisciplinary faculty group created in 2006 by Temba Maqubela, Dean of Faculty and Assistant Head of Academics, intended to help Andover prepare students for an increasingly globalized world. The visiting students were split into four groups, and each group sat in on different classes throughout the day, including Biology 540, Chemistry 580, Chemistry 610 (“Organic Chemistry”), Chinese 400, Chinese 520, History/Science 480 (“Disease & Medicine in the United States”), Math 530 (“AP Statistics”) and Religion and Philosophy 360 (“Proof and Persuasion”). Students observed class discussions and had the chance to participate in some class activities. In Chemistry 610, for example, Maqubela gave the visiting students an opportunity to try the group quiz on reaction mechanisms his class was taking. Nicky Chen, Peking University Class of 2015, said “Compared to Beijing, [Andover] has more presentations in high school. We don’t have as many presentations in high school, but we do in university. I guess there are more [in-class] case studies [at Andover].” Merrill hopes that in the future, visiting students will be able to stay for a longer period of time and also have the opportunity to see a wider variety of classes. “Now that I have a better understanding that these students [from Peking University] come from a wide variety of college majors, I would try [in the future] to reach out to a different set of classes. The classes they went to were great, but I would have reached out to more history and [economics] classes,” said Merrill.