Olympic International Studies students host international visitors
Visitors to Charlotte have a new opinion of American schools and American students after visiting the School of International Studies and Global Economics at Olympic. On Feb. 9, 25 delegates representing 25 nations participating in an international trade visit met with students and staff. The delegates included ministers of finance, entrepreneurs, lawyers, professors and journalists.

Principal Matthew Hayes opened the visit with introductions and a warm welcome to Charlotte and Olympic. Curriculum coordinator and teacher Brett Haight then gave an overview of school design and curriculum.

A student panel made up of freshmen, seniors and one graduate talked about the school’s international focus, as well as their personal experiences. The panel was followed by a question-and-answer session. During that session, freshman Danielle Gray spoke in Chinese with representative Fuan Kong, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce. Chinese is one of three languages offered at the Global School.

Many issues were discussed during the question and answer period. At one point representative Imran Baloch, senior marketing officer for the Engro Polymer and Chemical Company of Pakistan, said all he knew about American schools was what was on TV: “violence, drugs and apathy of students.” He said when he got home, he would tell everyone he knew about the wonderful things happening in American schools and the efforts students were making to globalize their perspective and learning.

The School of International Studies and Global Economics was the only school the representatives visited during their time in the United States. The event was coordinated through The International House of Charlotte. The International House is an organization dedicated to bringing Charlotte and the world together. Its mission is to promote international understanding by serving as a center for diversity, advocating for people of diverse national backgrounds and facilitating professional and cultural programs.