Note: Visit WhiteHouse.gov/First-Lady-China-Visit to sign up for email updates from the First Lady and get the latest news about the trip.
On March 19th, I’ll be heading to China for an official visit – and I want young people like you across America to join me.
Over the past five years as First Lady, I’ve traveled around the world – to countries like Mexico, India, South Africa, Ireland and others across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America – and China is another important stop on this journey. With more than 1.3 billion people, China is the most populous country on earth, and it plays an important role on the world stage.
My husband and I take the time to visit countries like China because we know that today, more than ever before, our lives here in America are connected to the lives of people around the world.
Companies here in America do business with – and compete with – companies across the globe. With the click of a button, you can connect with kids on every continent, and last year alone, more than 283,000 American high school and college students studied in more than 190 different countries (China is actually the fifth most popular place for American students to study abroad, and more students come from China to study in the U.S. than from any other country). And no matter what country we live in, we’re all facing so many of the same challenges – from ensuring that students get a good education; to fighting poverty, hunger and disease; to addressing threats to our planet like climate change.
These issues affect every last one of us, so it’s critically important that young people like you learn about what’s going on not just here in America, but around the world. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, soon, all of you will be leading the way. You’ll be discovering the cures, inventing the technologies, building the businesses, and making the laws that will shape our future for generations to come. And you’ll need to do these things together, working with others around the world – so you’ll need to be familiar with cultures, languages, and traditions that are very different from your own.
That’s why everywhere I go, whether it’s here in the U.S. or abroad, I meet with young people to hear about your challenges, hopes and dreams – and that’s what I’ll be doing in China as well. During my trip, I’ll be visiting a university and two high schools in Beijing and Chengdu (which are two of China’s largest cities). I’ll be talking with students about their lives in China and telling them about America and the values and traditions we hold dear. I’ll be focusing in particular on the power and importance of education, both in my own life and in the lives of young people in both of our countries. I’ll also be visiting various historical and cultural sites in China, and I look forward to sharing with you the stories of the students I meet, as well as the interesting facts I learn about Chinese history and culture.
I’ll be posting a daily travel blog, complete with videos and photos, and I’ll be taking – and answering – questions from kids across America as I go.
I hope you’ll join me – all you have to do is get online:
I look forward to sharing this important trip with you.