Detroit Students Heading to China to Study Abroad

What if you could spend part of your school year in a different country studying abroad – and what if you were still doing this in your grade-school years, and not college?

Students at the University Prep Schools system will be doing exactly that, as they have been for the past few years. Previous expeditions have taken students to the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Peru, Greece and Italy. This week, a small group of middle school and high school students headed off to China for a two-week long trip.

“They’ll be immersed in culture,” Joshua Lopez, University Prep’s study abroad coordinator and a teacher in the system, tells BLAC. “They’ll learn about food, language, how to pay for things…this program has evolved.

“China actually offers a discount for student travelers,” Lopez adds. “They want more American students to visit China.”

Trips are paid for by year-long fundraisers held by the school and parents, as well as scholarships and sponsorship opportunities.


This is the second trip for University Prep; earlier this year, students visited Germany. Next year, the school will offer four trips, growing from its current two-a-year allowance. One of those trips will be to Cuba – “we’ll be one of the first schools in Metro Detroit to visit Cuba,” Lopez notes.

And students are excited. “I’m looking forward to going to China and walking on the Great Wall of China,” seventh-grader Dorian Watson says before the big trip. “That’s just mind-blowing that I’ll be able to do that.”

For more information about University Prep Schools, visit

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