LAPEL — Travel to exotic world locations to experience different cultures is on just about everyone's personal bucket list.
And a group of four Lapel High School students recently checked a big one off theirs.
Seniors Grant Kinney and Lauren Beeler, and freshmen Braxton Kemerly and Riley Gill just returned from a 10-day trip to China. where they participated in a program called "Global Student Leaders Summit: Social Responsibility in the New Global Economy."
The event was sponsored by Education First Education Tours. According to their group leader, Lapel English teacher, Jerry Kemerly, the four were the only Indiana high school students to participate in the program.
Kemerly has been leading seniors at Lapel High on trips to Europe — mostly England — for the past 18 years. But this opportunity to visit the Far East was a first, he said.
Although still a little bleary-eyed and suffering from jet lag after traveling halfway around the world, three of the four students took time out of class last week to talk about their experiences in Shanghai, Xi'an, and Beijing.
The working part of the students' China trip occurred in Shanghai, where they gathered with hundreds of other high school students from across America and around the world for two long days of learning about the global economy.
In addition to attending seminars led by experts, they also broke into teams to develop solutions to global economic challenges such as universal rights, education, the environment and health and safety, Grant said.
At the end of the summit, those solutions were showcased at an "Innovation Village," Lauren added, "and some of them were really cool."
"Honestly, I didn't know what to expect, and that was the really cool part to me," Braxton said of the experience. "I was just interested in learning about their culture."