Alpha exChange Overview

Alpha exChanges are a series of exchange that we coordinate between leading Chinese and American high schools and APE. Building sister school relationships in China is a necessary step towards creating a culture of greater trust and understanding among the next generation of global leaders at an age when it matters most. Our role is to ensure that these relationships are effective, enduring and mutually beneficial.

Teach AP in China

At the heart of any effective exchange is a Change. In education, this means a change in the way we think, teach and learn to most effectively serve the current and future needs and interests of society. The world’s best schools achieve this by constantly changing and innovating, along with their teachers and students. Their curriculum is international, their pedagogy is innovative and culturally sensitive, and their students are diverse.

The engagement we build between American and Chinese high schools via our Alpha exChange framework go beyond conventional sister school models, under which limited resources, cultural barriers, bureaucracy, communication/logistical challenges and unclear expectations all continue to stand in the way of what really matters: substantive output for the schools and their students. By serving as a stakeholder in these relationships, we ensure that they are enduring not just in name but also in practice by spearheading a series of tailored exchange initiatives that involve everyone in the school, from administrators to teachers to students.

exChange Why?

exChange What?

Alpha exChanges engage all parties in a school from administrators, to teachers to students. We ensure that, at every level of exchange, each party’s goals are met, creating a successful learning experience for all involved.
Alpex 3-tiered Exchange Model

exChanging Schools: a development strategy for schools

Alpha exChanges often begin at the school management level. Administrators and community leaders from the US visit our partner schools in China, and vice versa. We introduce school administrators to various potential partner schools to ultimately build long-lasting, transformative relationships.

exChanging Teachers: innovative teaching pedagogies

We design Alpha exChanges on the faculty level for American teachers to teach in China, and American schools to host Chinese teachers. Our teacher sharing initiative allows faculty to share best practices, innovate pedagogy, and increase the cultural sensitivity of host school administrators, teachers and students.

exChanging Students: an impactful experience for students

Alpha exChanges ultimately revolve around students. We offer programs for students in China to travel overseas and learn about US culture through an educational lens, while sharing their local culture and customs with American students and families. Conversely, we offer tailor-made trips for American schools to explore Chinese schools and culturally significant sites.

exChange How?

Principal Orientation Program (POP)

POPs are “speed dating” programs for school administrators. Principals and administrators visit and observe 3-5 schools in the host country, meet with local administrators and officials, and ultimately find the right partner school for their school’s needs, interests and pedagogical focus.

POP programs are tailored to the interests and needs of traveling schools, and typically include a combination of the following:

  • Interactive workshops on local education system and pedagogical philosophies
  • Visit 3-5 schools to observe teachers and students in classroom environment
  • Meet and dine with local administrators and faculty
  • At the second school, observe teachers and students in classroom
  • Visit culturally and educationally significant sites in host region

Following every POP, the visiting and host schools work with the Alpha Partners team to design and implement effective, mutually beneficial exChanges on a student and faculty level based on each school’s respective needs, goals and priorities.

I’m an Administrator, How Can I Get Involved?

Alpha Partners has the resources, access and flexibility to host visiting groups of administrators in China any time during the school year. We plan tailor-made trips to meet your school type and location preferences, time constraints, and cultural interests. Further, if you’d like to meet with Chinese educational officials and school administrators at your school, we would love to keep you in mind for future POP trips to the United States. Please fill out the interest form here to keep in touch with us!

Teacher Sharing Initiative

Faculty exChanges benefit schools greatly in their efforts to provide a more international education. Through our teacher sharing initiative between Chinese and American high schools, we regularly create opportunities for teachers to exChange, in the hopes of building diversity and sparking pedagogical innovation at all of our partner schools.

In one type of exChange, a Chinese teacher spends a semester or year at the American host school, learning Western educational best practices, sharing pedagogical techniques from the Chinese tradition, and helping to support or establish a Chinese language program. Tasks and responsibilities typically include the following:

  • Offer host school workshops for teachers on effective Chinese language instruction
  • Teach Chinese language courses
  • Share Chinese culture with host school through events and gatherings
  • Visit culturally significant sites in host region

In the reverse exChange, an American teacher spends a semester or year at the Chinese host school, learning best practices from Chinese educational philosophy, sharing Western educational strategies, while teaching English language or other subjects in English and supporting students who wish to study abroad in the US.

  • Offer host school workshops for teachers on effective English instruction
  • Teach English language and advanced level subjects in English
  • Advise students on US college application process
  • Visit culturally significant sites in host region

I’m a Teacher, How Can I Get Involved?

Alpha Partners has an extensive network of schools all over China that frequently seek foreign teachers for a variety of subjects. Our Chinese partner schools need educators for short-term workshops, year-long advanced courses, and everything in between. Whatever your educational expertise or desired length of stay in China, we’ll find a host school for you. Fill out the interest form here to get started!

Student exChanges

Alpha exChanges should engage all members of a school, but are ultimately created for students. High school is a deeply formative period, during which students are at their peak of intellectual and cultural openness. exChanges at this age give them the natural, genuine exposure to other societies that they need in order to develop objective world views and overseas networks for success in a global future.

Student exChanges in schools can range in duration from one day to two weeks. The breadth and depth of the program depends largely on time and monetary budgets. Below is an overview of activities typically included in a student exChange program for American students visiting China:

  • Shadow host Chinese students in classes
  • Welcome lunch with school principal, faculty and host students
  • Attend extra-curricular activities, sports practices and after school meetings
  • Traditional Chinese dinner with host students, teachers and families
  • Local field trip with host students
  • Tourism to significant sites of interest throughout China

I’m a Student, How Can I Get Involved?

Alpha Partners has the resources, access and flexibility to host visiting student groups in China any time during the school year. Further, we are always seeking eager students to host visiting Chinese students at their school and/or home. Fill out the form here so we can get in touch with you to start planning your next exChange experience!

exChange Where?

exChange Cases

Our team works with a very diverse range of schools in China and the US, so the type of partnerships we develop under the Alpha exChanges framework entirely depends on the specific needs and expectations of the specific school. We have helped several US high schools establish effective programs over the past few years, varying from small public schools to large independent schools. The sample case studies below serve as reference for schools in deciding which approach and schedule might fit them best.

Boston Latin School (Public, MA)

Trinity School (Independent, NYC)

Arlington High School (Public, MA)

Locating and selecting a suitable partner school in China is comparable to trying to find a needle in a haystack. Even once a partner school has been identified, relationships often stall or breakdown due to cultural differences, apathy, and poor communication between Chinese and American schools. With it’s diverse, international team, Alpha Partners eliminated the cultural and communication barriers that can hinder a valuable exchange, and is a vested partner in executing mutually beneficial exchange programs.

US-China relations will be one of the defining political and economic relationships of the coming decades. In order for students to be able to compete in an increasingly small, interconnected global landscape, schools must adequately equip them. Administrator, teacher and student exchanges all help schools become better able to educate future global leaders.

Yes! Chinese students and teachers will be eager to practice their English with American students and teachers, and Alpha Partners is able to provide translation services wherever necessary.

Your itinerary will vary in China based on your role in your school and the type of exChange program in which you are participating. More information on activities during Administrator, Teacher and Student exChange programs can be found above you can request sample itineraries and pricing from past programs by filling out the form below or emailing amber.james@ap-mun.com

What next?

Don’t see your question above? Send us an inquiry via the form below or download our Alpha exChanges brochure to learn more about how we can plan your next exChange.

Upcoming Opportunities

[Teachers] Teach AP in China
Beijing
2014-2015
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