Chinese Bridge for American Principals by College...
On November 7th, twenty educators, principals, and superintendents from all across the US visited Wanbang with CollegeBoard. Our Sino-American Program was hand-picked by the CollegeBoard due to our long history of offering AP courses and being the leader in international education within the Heilongjiang province.
After showcasing our unique values and direction in educating "Multicultural Global Servant Leaders", the delegates joined our open AP and Pre-AP classrooms, had the opportunity to watch our nationally recognized choir performance and spoke with our students in a small group setting.
The visit showcased the clear integration of Chinese and American curriculum offered in our Sino-American Program and the support CollegeBoard has continued to show Wanbang School as their most experienced school in Harbin to offer AP Courses.
The Direction of Change
Homeostasis is a process by which biological systems attempt to maintain stability in the face of changes. The process is frequently seen in our everyday life; when our body temperature drops, we shiver to warm up, and on the contrary, when our body temperature is too hot, we sweat to cool down. Similarly, we as humans have our own process of homeostasis in life - a tendency of stagnation and propensity of not wanting to accept drastic changes in our ideologies or way of life. However, even with the process of homeostasis in full effect, as people age and deteriorate in health, we are also influenced and changed by our environment over time. These subtle changes are gradual but inevitable as they are driven by our DNA - our ideals, values and core beliefs.
At Wanbang, education is the process of instilling values, and beliefs in all students, thus transforming their DNA and giving direction to their life. Changes on the surface are easy to appreciate even with the naked eye, yet as homeostasis dictates, are bound to return to the status quo. However, by instilling values such as honesty, diligence and love into our students, we make an attempt to transform them from the inside out. These values are repeatedly taught and modeled day after day by the teachers who interact and surround our students 24/7. Though the speed of change is gradual, eventually what seemed at first to be a foreign idea to the students, soon becomes a part of their lives and the transformation that takes place subsequently is genuine and permanent. With their core values shifted and providing the direction to their life, they no longer seek out their comfort zones or live in idleness with excuses. Instead, they seek out knowledge to learn, brave through experiences to grow, and through it all, ultimately transform into an individual of influence.
To borrow a quote from our recent commencement speech,
“The world you now enter is like the ocean. Among the tides and waves of ideas and ideals you will come across, knowing yourself will be your foundation, your ship; the values you cherish and believe will be the compass that will bring meaning and reason to your life’s journey.”
As our next generation of youth prepares to lead the world of tomorrow, and journey out into the ocean, it is time to think about the quality of the compass that we instill upon them.
Congratulations to the Class of 2018
Even starting Sunday, many of you will begin leaving this place you called home for the past few years and enter on to foreign soil into society. I’m sure you have conflicting emotions between the excitement of college with the fear of uncertainty. But I want to affirm to you that wherever you go, you have been trained and prepared for success. During your time here at WB it isn’t just English that you’ve learned but so much more. You take from here your loving hearts that can encompass the weakest in the community, your sense of right and wrong that will be your guide for a lifetime, and your infectious smiles and positivity that will spread across wherever you go. You embody honesty, diligence and love and you can and will become a difference maker in any community you join.
I say this with full confidence because I’ve seen these traits from you this past year. Class, though our time together has been short, we have endured a lot together. Through the ups and downs of personal essays, college applications and the emotional toils of college results together. And do you know what I saw? I saw the strength, the direction and the maturity from you that inspired me and shook me with excitement for what you’ll achieve. With beliefs, and values that is instilled in you, you will become the light in the dark, the compass to the lost and be the person to change our world one small community at a time. You will do this because you are all WB ren, and that is what we do - change and influence the world.
The world you now enter is like the ocean. Among the tides and waves of ideas and ideals you will come across, knowing yourself will be your foundation, your ship; the values you cherish and believe will be the compass that will bring meaning and reason to your life’s journey.
It is now time to set sail as WB rens to go make a difference. But before I share my final farewells, I’d like impart in you a quote.Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.” Choose the latter. Be excited, be joyful, live in constant amazement and thankfulness, but above all, remember you are a miracle.
SAP 12 College Acceptance Announcement
The Sino-American Program (SAP) of Harbin Wanbang School is excited to share some exciting news about our college admissions results for the class of 2018. This year, our seniors have been accepted to highly selective colleges and universities, such as Stanford University, Colby College, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Duke Kunshan University, and the University of Hong Kong. The total scholarship amount offered to our students came out to be US$645,600.00.
Many of our senior students have been exceptional, and their abilities can be reflected by their competitive GPAs and the number of AP classes and exams they will have completed by the end of our program (average of 6, not including Dual Credit courses). In addition, their active engagement with extracurricular activities, including our 2016 national award-winning choir team and the nationally recognized TV program filmed and edited by our students, not only contributed to their application but more importantly, played an important factor in helping them develop and mature as an individual.
The Sino-American Program of Harbin Wanbang School has been recognized as the model international program within the Heilongjiang Province in China. We have been helping students achieve their goals of studying abroad in the States, Canada, Europe and Australia through our program that finds a balance between Chinese and American curriculum. Through a variety of blended and in-person classes, including multiple AP courses, we also provide opportunities for students to think critically and expand their intellectual horizon. Though the rigors of the SAP curriculum likely played a factor in our graduates past success with college admissions, including Emory University, Carnegie Mellon University, USC, UCLA, and UNC, it was the teaching outside of the classrooms and individualized guidance that pushed the students to go beyond just academics and develop holistically as a multicultural global servant leader.
Our international class of students, from Australia, USA, Peru, Korea, Turkey and Japan, allow SAP students to shift their perspective to foster a global mindset further and develop a multicultural sensitivity. The results of our program are self-evident from the recognition our students have received from national competitions such as the National High School Debate League China, Harvard Model United Nations and Microbiz International Future Business Leader Summit and acceptances from highly selective colleges.
Welcome to 2018 Spring
Welcome to 2018 Spring Term! After enjoying the Chinese New Year with their family, our students finally returned back to the Wanbang family. We are excited to see everyone back healthy and energized for the new term. We held an orientation to introduce a few changes to the SAP - such as new classes and changed rules. Let's push each other to become better and more unified as a family!
In a society that only pursues success and encourages achievements and competitive edge, the notion of foolishness may seem foreign. Yet, when we consider the opportunity cost - the concession to one’s integrity, the moral corruption, and the individualistic mindset - of those who live solely to become the best, we begin to see the significance of living foolishly.
As a tower built on sand will collapse in time, a life built on compromises to integrity, moral and community is bound to fail at worst, and feel void at best. Alternatively, by doing what is right and not doing what is wrong, by being foolish, we are building character and life’s foundation from the bottoms up. One brick at a time, one tile at a time, the process is prolonged, but the outcome is the formation of character not shaken by whims of society, integrity built on trust over time and moral stability that will be a compass for one’s life. Foolishness is a lifestyle of purposefully and decidedly choosing not to take the short-cut of life.
At Harbin Wanbang School, we train our students to be foolish. Foolish to follow the rules even when nobody is watching. Foolish to listen to the teacher’s request and abide by them even during vacation. Foolish to have the chance to cheat, yet decide not to. Foolish to see and know the short-cuts of life, but choose not to take it.
During this coming 'Journey with King David' (called as 'vacation' in Wanbang School), every student will at last return home. Along with home, comes the call for comfort and stagnation and the whispers of compromise. But it is time to make a decision that regardless of the situation, the circumstances, and external forces, to do what is right, to not do what is wrong. It is time to choose to be foolish.
Welcome to a New Academic Year!
Harbin Wanbang School opened its doors to begin a new school year on Monday, August 28. This coming school year is an exciting one, filled with many new opportunities for our students.
The Sino-American Program continues to grow, both in size and in scope. Including our Pre-SAP program (7th - 9th grade), our total number has grown to 44 students, the largest it has ever been. We expect to graduate our largest number this year as well--11 seniors, each setting their sights all around the globe. As our seniors enter college application season, they are considering top universities in the U.S., Canada, China, Singapore, and Europe.
This semester, we are also excited to host for the first time, a debate tournament. In partnership with the National High School Debate League of China (Click HERE for English site), Wanbang SAP students will receive formal debate training from expert debate trainers and participate in their first regional debate tournament with hopes of qualifying for the national tournament.
Wanbang SAP is also excited to introduce three new teachers to the SAP faculty. Mr. David Nah, Ms. Yully Choi, and Ms. Esther Song bring a variety of backgrounds and expertise from America to Harbin. We are excited to welcome them to an already diverse staff and look forward to the many ways they will continue to enhance the learning and development of our students.
This and much more await our students in the Sino-American Program at Harbin Wanbang School. We look forward to another great year!
Congratulations to the Class of 2017!
The Sino-American Program at Harbin Wanbang School is proud to graduate yet another class of wonderful students. This year, eight students graduate from SAP and head out to university campuses around the world. These students have come from many different backgrounds and situations. They’ve lived in the United States, Canada, Qatar, South Korea, and China. They are going on to pursue fields of study in Medicine, Engineering, International Relations, Business, and more. We are sad to see them leave our family but excited and full of hope as they begin the next steps of their journey. We hope they continue to grow and develop as they live out the core values of Wanbang School—to Be Honest, Be Diligent, Love Others.
Spring in Harbin
Spring is here in Harbin! All traces of snow and ice are gone and buds are starting to appear on the trees. With the signs of life and regrowth returning to nature, this season is also an exciting one for our program!
Our seniors are wrapping up a very eventful college application season. Most of the college results are back, with a few international school results yet to come. Our eight seniors have been accepted to many high-quality schools in the U.S. and around the world, including:
Coming this week, Harbin Wanbang School is excited to host for the first time, an informational seminar about U.S. colleges to be given by a team from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We think this will be an excellent opportunity for our students as well as other students and families in the area.
Xin Nian Kuai Le! Happy (Lunar) New Year!
Another semester begins! We have many exciting things to look forward to in the Spring 2017 semester.
Here in Harbin, snow still covers the ground. While still sub-zero, the temperatures are slowly creeping higher as spring nears. Firecrackers signal local shops reopening their doors after the long break. The streets around Wanbang fill again with busy residents and students resuming their daily lives.
Our seniors have submitted a record number of applications to universities across the U.S., Hong Kong, and China and are eagerly awaiting news. Some of them have already begun to receive acceptances and scholarship offers.
Our juniors are all working hard on their own college search, looking for the best options for them and learning how to determine which schools are the best fit for them.
The 10th graders have just completed the second week of their 2-week Winter Intensive course introducing them to the TOEFL exam. This will kick-start a focused preparation for the TOEFL exam that they will add to their current rigorous academic schedule.
Later this spring, Wanbang is looking forward to hosting visits from several different American universities. We hope that this will continue to inspire our students to pursue higher education in America. We strive to make sure our students are prepared to succeed at any U.S. university or any university around the world.
In May, the 11th and 12th graders will be taking a total of 41 AP Exams! This year, because of a recent change in the SAT Exam schedule, our juniors will also be taking the SAT in May as well. This will be a very busy month for our students.
2017 and the spring semester hold a lot of uncertainty and excitement. As program director, I am proud of what our students have accomplished this far and look forward to seeing how they will continue to grow and develop to become global citizens who seek to effect positive change around the world!
2017 International Future Business Leader Summit...
It definitely thrilled me! Attending at the International Future Business Leader Summit (MicroBiz) in Shanghai, I changed my thoughts about Chinese education. The education system of China is gradually changing from mere college entrance exam preparation to a holistic character-building style. More and more Chinese students and their parents realize the limitations that the current education system has. Also, the Chinese Education Bureau consistently emphasizes creating various activities and programs to overcome the current difficulties of only one standard Chinese College Entrance Examination for every student.
The end of the fall semester is probably the busiest time of year here at Wanbang. Students in the choirs, drama club and art team have just wrapped up another successful Winter Song Festival and performance of our first original play, "The Christmas Blessings." Seniors are polishing off those last essays for colleges with January 1 due dates and are starting to get excited about the colleges they have already been accepted to. Sophomores and Juniors are making plans for taking SATs and TOEFLs during the upcoming break. And the onset of winter colds and flus seems to be perfectly timed for this most stressful time.
During this wonderful, hectic time, let's remember to be thankful, even for the chaos. The work that everyone did preparing for the Winter Festival made the show a beautiful experience for the student body. Each essay written, helps us learn a little more about our self. Preparing for tests helps us learn in different ways. And even sickness can teach us how to rely on others.
The semester break will soon be here. Take time to rest, but let's also fill that time with exciting new experiences outside of school.
We at Wanbang School would like to wish all of our students and their families a very happy holiday season and a busy, chaotic and rewarding 2017!
Let's get ready!
A new semester is upon us. Our SAP student body is up to 30 students with 7 more in "Pre-SAP." Led by a dynamic group of 8 seniors, this looks like it will be another exciting school year!
This year's Student Body Leadership group is:
2016 AP China Summer Institute - Dalian
This August, teachers Sunshine Choe, Wei Yue, Aihua Li and Haili Cui attended the 2016 AP Summer Institute in Dalian, China. Wanbang is committed to providing continuing education for its teachers and counselors; attending the annual training provided by the CollegeBoard helps to achieve that mission.
At the Summer Institute, the teachers were able to learn from experienced AP consultants, who are experts in their fields, from American high schools and colleges. They also met with and discussed curriculum with teachers and counselors from other top private and public schools across China.
2016 Wanbang Hike
The Wanbang School Hike is one of the biggest annual events since the school was established. It is a special time for the students, where they can learn about the world by entering into nature. We usually leave the school early in the morning, walking past the roads and buildings that make up our neighborhood and go all the way to the countryside. Along unpaved roads, students can see different vegetable and animal farms and breathe the open air. After a lunch break, we head back to the school, arriving in the late afternoon.
This year’s hike covered about 20km, taking 6 hours. It not only strengthened students’ bodies but also cultivated teamwork and cooperation. There is an African proverb that says, “If you want go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In the first 2 hours, everybody was able to sing and enjoy the views. However, from mid-day, due to the hot weather and the long walk, exhaustion, cramping, and blisters began to wear down on the students and some wanted to give up. But they continued together as one group; no one was to be left behind. At this moment, students were encouraging each other, carrying bags for one another, and sharing their precious water together. This cooperative mentality gave each of them the support to make it to the end.
The large school flag leads the way for the hike. The school flag stands as a beacon, much like our goals in life. When you feel lost, find the “flag” in your life, and follow it. When you want to give up, look around, there are so many people are willing to help you and support you. “If you want to go far, go together.”