Young Ambassadors

Building Friendships in China

Students and administrators from the Guangdong Teachers College of Foreign Language and Arts in Guangzhou, China, pose for a picture with the Young Ambassadors following a performance showcase.

After landing in Guangzhou, China, on Thursday, May 9, the BYU Young Ambassadors headed to Shamian Island, a historic river port covered in colonial architecture and lush greenery. They visited the renowned Qingping Medicine Market, where the sights, sounds, and scents of traditional Chinese medicine provided a sensory experience unlike any other. That evening, the Young Ambassadors set sail on a cruise on the Pearl River, taking in panoramic views of the city’s skyline.

The next morning brought a blend of tradition and collaboration as the Young Ambassadors delved into the cultural heritage of Guangzhou. They explored the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall and its trove of art and history. Continuing their learning, they visited the Guangdong Teachers College of Foreign Language and Arts, where they participated in a cultural exchange with students at the college. Students from both schools reveled in sharing their dance talents and bonding despite language barriers.

Mariel Alexander, a member of the Young Ambassadors, learns a traditional Chinese dance in an arts exchange with students from the Guangdong Teachers College of Foreign Language and Arts.

Saturday was a day of preparation and anticipation as the Young Ambassadors readied themselves for their opening performance at the esteemed National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Fine-tuning their harmonies and choreography, they poured their hearts and souls into their first show. Those in attendance were especially moved by the group’s rendition of the Chinese folk song “Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower)” at the close of the show.

The Young Ambassadors left Guangzhou on Sunday for Shanghai. Once they landed, they wasted no time immersing themselves in the city’s culture at the Asia Pacific Shopping Plaza. They ended their day with a traditional Chinese meal in the beautiful and historic Yu Yuan area and a stroll along the Bund, enjoying the contrast of the colonial architecture on one side of the river and the modern, LED-lit Shanghai skyline on the opposite side.

The Young Ambassadors greet members of the audience following their first performance in Guangzhou, China.

The Young Ambassadors’ first week in China has left the students excited for the cities and performances ahead of them on their tour. They look forward to many more connections with people they will meet during their upcoming adventures.

Students from the Guangdong Teachers College of Foreign Language and Arts take a picture with Young Ambassadors members (back row from left) JRay Kuhn, Bailey Dayton, and Johnathan Tanner during a dance exchange in Guangzhou, China.

Members of the Young Ambassadors pose for a picture outside the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall in Guangzhou.