For most it was their first trip to a foreign country. For many it won't be their last. Nearly 100 students from Tacoma's Lincoln High School said they learned a lot during an 11-day tour through China this month.
During President Xi Jinping's visit to Lincoln High School last September, he invited 100 students to Beijing, all expenses paid.
BEIJING, China. -- Seeing the Great Wall was one of the reasons Antonio Madrigal wanted to come to China. He just didn't think it would be such a workout. "There's been a bunch of stairs," said Madrigal. "Small, tall and then when you look at the view it's kind of steep."
The Tacoma high school students touring China got to see pandas.
CHENGDU, China. -- The skyline of Hong Kong was impressive. The reception in Fuzhou was humbling. The word Lincoln High School junior Haley Naparan used to describe Chengdu? "Cute." "I think pandas are the definition of cute," said Naparan. Naparan is one of 97 Lincoln High School students from Tacoma on an 11-day tour through Hong Kong and mainland China.
FUZHOU, China. - Police escorts through rush hour. A red carpet arrival in front of hundreds of applauding Chinese students. Lincoln High School students are getting VIP treatment on their trip through China. The 97 students, and a dozen chaperones, from Tacoma are guests of the Chinese government.
KING 5's Drew Mikkelsen reports from China.
Lincoln High School's field trip through China sent the students back to school Sunday. Students from Hong Kong's Shun Tak Fraternal Association's Yung Yao College performed for the 90-plus Tacoma teens before giving them a tour of the school. "I'm never going to let go of the dancers," said Abranna Romero, after taking selfies with Chinese students she just met.
Allie and Tiger share their excitement ahead of their trip to visit the Chinese president.
Thanks to a personal invitation from the Chinese president, a group of Tacoma teens will be China-bound early Friday morning. KING 5 caught up with the students from Lincoln High School on Thursday evening, as they said goodbye to their families and loaded their luggage onto buses headed for Sea-Tac Airport.
TACOMA, Wash. - Dashawana Johnson is scared, but nothing will keep the 17-year-old from getting on that plane next month. "This is going to make me stronger," said Johnson, a senior at Tacoma's Lincoln High School. She's nervous because she's never been on a plane before. Johnson's going big her first time up.