Chinese sister school experience at CCUSD

Cactus Shadows students with their Chinese buddies in front of Cactus Shadows High School

The wise philosopher Confucius said, “The journey of a million miles begins with a single step.” These initial steps were recently taken by twenty-eight (28) brave Chinese high school students from a sister school in Yichang, Hubei Province in China. They made an inaugural trip to Cave Creek, Arizona on August 14-18, 2019 after spending a few days in New York and Washington DC. The nervous and excited Chinese students (ages 15-17) arrived in Cave Creek School District to meet face to face with a desert landscape and their assigned host families for five days of typical American family life. The Chinese students attended Cactus Shadows High School with their CCUSD host students for 2 days, taking math quizzes, participating in dance class, even going to French classes. In the evenings, they spent time seeing all of the extracurricular events in which CCUSD students are involved. The weekend was full of trips to Sedona, Lake Pleasant, even the Grand Canyon as CCUSD host families went above and beyond to show their Chinese students how to have a great time in the desert! There were tears and hugs goodbye and invitations for the CCUSD students to make the trip to Yichang China so they could return the favor. 

CCUSD Staff picks up the Chinese students at Sky Harbor Airport in the yellow school buses they have only seen in the American movies.

Cristina Ladas, CCUSD’s World Language Programs Director said, “International activities that connect our students with the outside world and visa versa are a win-win for everyone.”

This 5 year-old program is a result of a partnership that CCUSD developed with the first international Chinese guest teacher that came to teach through a program sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of State.

For more information on the World Language Programs offered at CCUSD, please contact Ms. Ladas at