BEIJING, Nov 12 – Anthony Box, 17, is your typical all-American boy. He spends his time studying, chilling with his school friends, and riding a unicycle. Except Anthony is living for a year in Beijing with a Chinese family. He’s part of an ambitious program organized by the “100,000 Strong Foundation” that aims to strengthen often frosty U.S.-China relations, one teenager at a time.
The organization says it has already achieved its aim of having more than 100,000 U.S. students in China. However, the numbers of American students in China are dwarfed by the 235,500 Chinese currently studying in America. Their ranks include Shunshun Zhang, 18, who spent three years studying at a high school in Vermont. Can Anthony and Shunshun succeed where presidents and diplomats have failed and bridge the gap between the two superpowers? Here are their stories.