Yale faculty and students will travel to Beijing in January to teach 100 high school students about their areas of expertise as well as the college admissions process.
The Yale Young Global Scholars-Beijing program is modeled after the existing YYGS program, an intensive two-week summer academic experience held at Yale for rising high school seniors, which was founded 14 years ago. The expanded Beijing edition of the program will hold its inaugural session next year at the Yale Center Beijing, a space run by the School of Management that opened in October 2014 for Yale affiliates in Beijing to conduct research and hold conferences.
The tentative agenda for the Beijing program includes faculty lectures, seminars taught by Yale students and career panels led by Yale World Fellows and alumni, said YYGS Deputy Director Erin Schutte ’12. The aim of these sessions is to expose high school students to college-level thinking while also preparing them for the admissions process.
YYGS Director Ted Wittenstein said the increasing exchanges between Yale and China made this the right moment to bring YYGS to Beijing.
“We’re very excited to take the Global Scholars model from the Yale campus and make it applicable overseas — and there is no better place to do that than in China, where Yale has a deep historic relationship,” he said. “We’re very excited to support the new Yale Center in Beijing, promote the center in China, and bring Yale faculty and students to China to interact with talented high school students from China and across the world.”
Schutte said participation in the weeklong program will cost students $3,500, though need-based financial aid is available. Applications for the program were released this summer, and admission is expected to be highly competitive, she added.
To help organize this new undertaking, YYGS hired Daniel Tam-Claiborne GRD ’14. Because he has lived in Beijing and coordinated events at the Yale Center Beijing, Tam-Claiborne said he is well-prepared to develop the program.
Tam-Claiborne said his responsibilities are many, from marketing the program and creating its curriculum to recruiting Yale faculty and student instructors. He added that he has set a goal of giving formerly unreachable students an experience similar to that of YYGS.
“I’m excited to get Yale’s name out there and recruit folks who would be interested in YYGS but never could have attended it in its original incarnation,” he said. “I’d like to tap into areas in China and Asia that are less developed, with less of an idea of what Yale and YYGS are.”
Luis Cartagenova ’15, a Global Scholars fellow, said YYGS-Beijing has many college preparatory aspects, while also allowing for increased outreach. Participating students will learn about the highly selective college admissions process, he said.
Former YYGS instructors and Yale students said they are enthusiastic about the latest expansion of YYGS. Tyler Dohrn ’18, a former instructor, said the value of YYGS — exposing international students to the Yale community — would be amplified by the new program in Beijing.
“YYGS takes in international kids who don’t really understand what Yale is or the college experience is like — and so many kids apply because of it,” he said. “Expanding to Beijing is a good move, as we’ll do what we did at Yale abroad.”
Julian Adler ’18, who has taught at YYGS for the past two summers and had participated as a student in high school, said he is confident the new program will be successful. YYGS has a history of handling expansion well, he said, and Beijing is an appealing place for high school students from around the world to travel.
Shu Tao FES ’17, who grew up in China, said she expects YYGS-Beijing to succeed because so many Chinese students are interested in attending Ivy League schools.
“Young people in China, especially high school students, are more and more willing to study abroad — and they prefer Ivy League colleges. They’re really very passionate about attending famous schools in America,” she said. “This program will definitely have a lot of students in China who are willing to take part in it.”
Tao said she and other Chinese students at Yale would be interested in teaching at YYGS-Beijing, because they are familiar with the country and can easily travel there. Familiarity with the Chinese culture and education system, she added, would enable Chinese students at Yale to instruct more effectively than their American counterparts.
YYGS was called The Ivy Scholars Program at its inception in 2001.