Thursday, April 19 , 2018, 5:38 pm | Fair 69º


San Marcos Students to Welcome High School Visitors from China

Teens from Weihai will spend a week exploring Santa Barbara, including City Hall, beaches and campuses

Fifteen high school students from Weihai, China, will be visiting Santa Barbara this week as part of a cultural exchange being arranged by the Santa Barbara-Weihai Sister City Association.

The Chinese students will spend a week visiting various places in the area, as well as Fiesta, before they travel back east to tour Washington, D.C., and New York.

This is the second such arrangement, according to SB-Weihai Sister City Association President Alex Sheldon, and the students will be welcomed by San Marcos High School ASB President Ian Hall and other San Marcos students with a barbecue and a tour of the campus on Wednesday.

“We are very excited to meet students from another country and show them around,” Hall said. “This is education at its best, being able to share and exchange ideas with another culture.”

The visiting group from Weihai will meet with Mayor Helene Schneider to receive a personalized tour of City Hall as well as be able to sit in on a City Council meeting.

The group will also be touring UCSB and SBCC, hiking local trails, visiting the beaches and taking a trip to Disneyland.

In the past, the SB-Weihai Sister City Association has arranged for local teachers to travel to Weihai to teach summer classes and visit other areas in China.

Weihai became a sister city to Santa Barbara in 1993. It is a seaside city of a half-million residents located in the eastern Shandong Province and is a major seaport along the Yellow Sea coast. It is considered to be one of the cleanest cities in China and is very similar to Santa Barbara being between the mountains and the ocean, and also has a large seafood and wine industry.

— Aaron Solis is activities director for San Marcos High School.

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