By Natalie Zarowny
Blackhawk College welcomed a group of Chinese middle and high school students today.
The teens are touring the Midwest this summer.
"Nice environment," said Tainyu Chen, a Chinese student on the trip.
So far, Chen is enjoying his visit to Blackhawk.
Organizers at the college said the visit of these international students is something unique.
"It's an opportunity that I thought would be once in a lifetime really, that we wanted to take advantage," said Juanita Zertuche, international coordinator at Blackhawk College.
Zertuche is also an organizer for the Rivers and Bridges program, an initiative linking the Mississippi River in America to the Yangtze River in China.
The goal of the program is to find some common ground between students from these two countries.
"One of the things we're trying to do is connect our students and connect our community with the world around us," said Thomas Baynum, president of Blackhawk College.
Organizers said visiting Blackhawk College is a unique opportunity for the Chinese students as well.
"As a community college, I think we have a lot to offer to international students as far as their careers and academics," said Zertuche.
And the students might just be returning to the quad cities in the future.
"I may come to the U.S. to college...next year," said Chen.
The Chinese students are also visiting other sites and schools in Iowa and Wisconsin.