YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch Exchange Night

September 13, 2019

This summer, YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch invited Spirit representative Austin to attend one of their penultimate Exchange Night events for Summer 2019. YMCA has held these events every Monday evening throughout the summer, and each week they would feature 1-2 countries based on where their participants were from. You can read more about this unique event below!

Exchange Night gives participants the opportunity to showcase their country, their history, and their culture. All American and J-1 staff are invited to attend, as well as YMCA guests and local residents. Each week highlights 1-2 countries, and during my visit, they featured students from China and Romania.

Six of Spirit’s Chinese participants took part in this week’s presentation. Each student focused on a different aspect of their culture, and they had a full PowerPoint presentation along with accompanying videos. Some of the topics they covered were Chinese geography, history, dance, martial arts, food, art, and inventions. One of our participants, Jiamin Z., even gave short performances of a traditional Chinese dance! Another student also gave a demonstration of Chinese Kung Fu.

Other things they discussed throughout their presentation were China’s passion for bike sharing programs, Chinese opera, and the transition away from using cash and credit cards to paying with QR codes and even facial recognition!

Chinese Participants at Exchange Night

Finally, the students spent the day leading up to the presentation preparing several different Chinese dishes for the audience to try. The 30-40 attendees all enjoyed the presentation and applauded the students for their bravery and ability to give a presentation all while speaking their 2nd language.

While the young man from Romania was not one of Spirit’s participants, he gave us an interesting overview of Romanian history, architecture, and geography. It was a fun night had by all!

Be sure to check out a few other photos from this event below!