SMO welcomes exchange students from China

The Saipan Mayor’s Office welcomed its first group of exchange students from China last Wednesday.

A total of 11 high school exchange students visited the Saipan Mayor’s Office under the auspices of Discovery Tours Saipan, which has been hosting exchange camps for about four years now.

According to Discover Saipan Tour general manager, Monique Kramer, the students want to get to know the island in a unique way through special programs and field trips. In line with this, the students visited many historical sites in order to fully understand the island’s history.

This is the first year for the Saipan Mayor’s Office to invite exchange students from China.

According to Mayor David M. Apatang, he is honored to finally have student from China visit his office.

The visit inspired Apatang to pursue plans to establish a Chinese student exchange program through the Saipan Mayor’s Office.

Apatang said the exchange program could benefit both students from Saipan and from China.

The students were very curious about the island and its many developments. One of the students asked Apatang how the balance is kept between preserving the culture while further developing the Commonwealth.

According to Apatang, the developments are beneficial because it generates more revenue and more work opportunities for residents.

He feels the developments do not threaten the island’s indigenous culture, as there are still other means of preserving the culture.

Afterwards, the students were briefed on the history of each former Saipan mayor and were escorted to the animal shelter for a visit.

Kramer also donated a check to the animal shelter, saying she will continue to promote the island to tourists, especially the younger ones.

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Kimberly A. Bautista Author

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