REDDING, Calif. -

Several Chinese high school students are getting an American education at U-Prep, and learning about our culture while they’re here.

It’s part of a program called Confucius Classroom.

The program is designed to expose American students to Chinese culture, and vice versa.

Chinese students stay with a host family and learn about American culture while getting an education.

The Chinese and American education systems are very different.

At home, Chinese students would spend eight hours a day in a regimented classroom.

Here, not so much.

“Here we have dance class, journalism, guitar and Latin,” said exchange student Vivian Sun. “So many classes we never had at Chinese school.”

Another student, Paula Na, said there is more interaction with the professors.

It isn’t all about the Chinese students though.

Dr. Biao Cheng, a teacher at U-Prep, said it helps American students gain a better perspective.

“Too many American students think the United States is their world. We want to expand their horizon. For the Chinese students, we want to give them an experience in American culture.

These Chinese students are interested in going to college in the United States, making this experience a great first step.

The foray into American culture doesn’t just entail hitting the books.

Food is a big part of it and American staples like hamburgers and pizza are an even bigger hit.

The differences don’t stop there.

Students like Vivian Sky also appreciate the environment, a stark change from the gray skies and smog-filled air of Beijing.

“The skies are blue, the air is clear. Yeah, we like this,” said Sky.