Expanding their cultural view is just one outcome students from the Bellows Falls Union High School experienced this past summer as they attended the Governor’s Institute of Vermont and traveled to China, Italy, and Spain. The opportunities for these teens to travel to either a Vermont college campus or abroad for a few weeks has been life changing. Anna Clark and Nieva Schemm headed to China with Social Studies Coordinator, Craig Divis. The two joined 10 other students from throughout the state of Vermont that traveled to China for two weeks through the Governor’s Institute on Asian Cultures and the University of Vermont’s Asian Studies Outreach Program. They traveled to traveled to Beijing, Kunming, Qufu, and Jinan. “To see the students’ expression as they were walking along the Great Wall of China or practicing their Chinese language skills with a Chinese student was incredible. You can literally see students’ worlds opening up and their perspective changing. Students became more confident and curious as each day went by.” Said Divis. The group became very close during their time together forming friendships as they traveled to. “The experience opened up my understanding of their culture, their schools and their society and broke down stereotypes I had before I went.” Said Clark. She and Schemm said they had their photo taken by complete strangers who were curious about Americans. Despite the language barriers they may have had, they communicated through a lot of laughing, smiling and hand gestures, they said. “They soaked up every experience that they could, from trying new foods at lunch and dinner to asking endless questions about culture and history.” Divis added.