I’m now chairman of the board of one of the large international schools out here and we are very much carrying the torch where we have a cutting edge experiential education center, the outdoors center. China engagement is a big part of what we’re doing because we’ve got to get these kids out of their comfortable ex-pat suburban lifestyles and get them into the field, make them confront what’s really here. It’s what keeps me in China with my boy in school, to give him that opportunity. We were just talking about it today in the car, that when he gets back to the United States he’ll never look at the United States the same way.

It’s expensive for an international school to create an off-campus education center out in rural China in and around a village. If I have any legacy as chair it will also be working with this director to really take seriously China engagement and take China language and culture and the experience of being in China and I don’t mean an ex-pat ghetto with drivers and maids but to get out in the field and in situations where you need to meet these people.

This is a school which is a little different. China engagement is one of its core values. It’s also about inquiry-based learning. You’re asking “What is it that I’m looking at?” and reflecting on it. It drives my son nuts. He says, “I have to reflect on something.” He says, “One plus one is two, right? What the hell do you mean ‘Why?’ Because it is!’”

I say, “Well, they want more from you.”

Chris Alberti, '75, is in the private equity business in Beijing