APSA is seeking 20 American college students to take part in a NEW intensive  US-China cultural exchange and career exposure program in Beijing

Dates: July 19 - Aug 3rd 2017. 

Strengthening US-China cross-cultural collaboration through student exchange

Proudly sponsored by the Bank of China

2017 Rainbow Bridge Exchange


In 2012, the 100th anniversary of the Bank of China’s establishment, the Rainbow Bridge Initiative was launched to strengthen cross-cultural connections between Chinese and American students. The cultural exchange was developed through the joint-collaboration of a Chinese Foundation, the Chinese Next Generation Education Foundation (CNGEF) and Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA) a US non-profit. The program provides low-income Chinese and American students with the opportunity to connect and take part in an immersive cultural experience while exploring academic and career opportunities abroad. To date the program has supported 241 youth from China and the U.S and received recognition from the Chinese Ministry of Education, U.S. Department of Education, the Chinese Embassy in the US, the American Embassy in China as well as Center on U.S.-China Relations.


The Chinese and American university students are competitively selected based on their academic performance, community involvement and interest in becoming US-China bridge builders. The start of the exchange begins with a US & China Student Forum in Beijing to connect the two student groups and discuss ways to strengthen the collaboration and cooperation between the two cultures at the student and young professional level. Following the exchange the Chinese students depart for the US and begin their overseas study abroad experience led by CNGEF. The American students continue to immerse in the local Beijing culture and begin an intensive professional development and career exploration program organized by APSA in cooperation with key program partners and supporters.


  1. To strengthen dialogue between American and Chinese University students through meaningful cultural exchange and immersive study abroad experiences.

  2. To make study abroad experiences more inclusive to talented young people from underrepresented areas of the US and China by offering full financial support to students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

  3. To inspire a generation of Chinese and American youth to become global citizens and empower them with the skills and experience to build bridges of understanding between different cultures and countries.



The forum will provide a platform for Chinese and American students to connect and share their perspectives and opinions on future US & China cross-cultural collaboration in areas of art, education, innovation and business.



During the 20-day program in the US, the 30 Chinese university students will have the opportunity to visit top American universities including Harvard University, Yale University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, connect with political and business experts and learn about the Bank of China’s New York Branch 80 year history.



During a 12-day intensive training program, the diverse group of 20 American University students will immerse in the local Beijing culture developing awareness on professional topics such as, the history of US & China relations, Chinese business culture, cross-cultural collaboration, building a global network, and global business ethics. In partnership with companies, organizations and experts, the program will provide students with real-life exposure to current trends, challenges and opportunities that are emerging between the US & China through a wide range of engaging panel discussions, networking events, workshops and company visits.


Core Outcomes: The program is designed to give underrepresented Chinese and American university level students exposure and first-hand experiences with valuable professional connections in areas including, but not limited to:


  • US & China cross-cultural diplomacy

  • Global citizenship

  • Overseas academic, career and business opportunities

  • Developing and honing a pitch

  • Global business ethics

  • Cross-cultural collaboration and communication


2017 Bridge Builder Social Pitch:

Beginning this year, the culmination of the exchange is a social pitch project that Bridge Builders will collaborate to hone and develop throughout the program. Each Bridge Builder will select a social problem and pitch a way to resolve the issue as part of the application process. The selected cohort of Bridge Builders will collaborate to conduct research on each social issue chosen and the group will be provided with opportunities to pitch their ideas to a range of professionals and companies throughout the program. The Bridge Builders will present their final social pitch to a panel at the end of the program and the selected pitch will receive an award.

Bank of China Full Scholarship Criteria: Applicants must be American college students between the ages of 20-26 with a demonstrated financial need (receive or qualify for government aid, or other financial aid). 


APSA Selection: APSA will select aspiring young professionals who are passionate about US-China relations, community development, global citizenship and personal development. Our programs are demanding and designed to challenge each participants skills, thinking and expand their comfort zone. Due to the intense nature of our program activities and agenda, applicants should be aware of the demands and come prepared to challenge themselves.

Application Process:

Applicants will begin by completing the ONLINE FORM and then submit their 3 PART APPLICATION by email. Applicants can choose a medium, or range of mediums, to complete the 3 parts. Examples include but are not limited to; video, visual powerpoint presentations, and written essays. 


PART 1: Personal Introduction > Tell us who you are, what drives you & what you value most in life 

PART 2: Bridge Builder Motivation > Tell us why building US & China relations is important today

PART 3: Professional Pitch > Choose a social issue and pitch a project that you believe will help solve it.                       The pitch becomes a personal project that is researched, developed and honed throughout the program. 

Financial Form: Please download the APSA financial form to complete and upload to your online application.

Download the Rainbow Bridge Financial Form by clicking on the PDF icon below.















2012 APSA & CNGEF Rainbow Bridge Exchange

2013 APSA & CNGEF Rainbow Bridge Exchange

2014: APSA & CNGEF Rainbow Bridge Exchange

2015: APSA & CNGEF Rainbow Bridge Exchange

Applications will open on June 26th, 2017

The application link will be posted here

Applications begin June 26 2017

Start your online application now!

Applications close July 7th at 9am EST.

Program Dates: July 19 - August 3 2017