Travel to China

Max Drach, 17, of Wilmington, is no stranger to traveling for his education. Two years ago he left home to enroll as a freshman at Phillips Exeter Academy, a boarding school in New Hampshire.

This summer he extended his education by traveling more than 8,000 miles from Wilmington to attend a six-week program to learn Mandarin Chinese, the standard language of China.

His destination was Chengdu, a city of more than 7 million people in southwest China.

Drach was awarded one of 650 National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarships for 2011-12. He joined 15 other scholarship winners studying Mandarin and Chinese culture in Chengdu.

The merit-based scholarship, funded by the State Department, covered all program costs, including travel, tuition and day-to-day expenses.

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