With the future of U.S – China relations becoming ever-more uncertain, it becomes all the more important to foster opportunities that can transcend politics and enable dialogue between Chinese and US citizens. The East West Stories Project offers a rare opportunity to do just that. During the summer of 2017, a select group of talented university students from China and the USA will gather in Los Angeles and Beijing to engage in a range of cultural activities while documenting the experience as part of a collaborative storytelling project.



The East-West Stories Project is an immersive cultural exchange programme created by Delegations For Dialogue and BIGTALK to maximise engagement and cross-cultural understanding between young citizens of the USA and China. Selected US and Chinese delegates will be partnered together and collectively conduct a storytelling project which documents their experiences in both Los Angeles and Beijing. Highlights of the programme will include:

  • Participating in a collaborative storytelling project with a Chinese or American partner which documents the exchange experience. 
  • Joining a series BIG TALK exchange workshops designed to enhance cross-cultural understanding.
  • Attending university-based lectures introducing a wide range of topics on US-China relations.
  • Attending roundtable meetings with prominent Chinese and American individuals; from entreprenuers and celebrities to journalists and students. 
  • Experiencing the local culture, traditions and foods in China and the USA through exchange-focused activities.
  • Building a network between students and individuals from both China and the USA.


Application Information

TYPE: Cultural Exchange

DELEGATION SIZE: 20 (10 US citizens, 10 Chinese citizens)

START: Los Angeles, USA | 8 July 2017

END: Beijing, China | 23 July 2017

FEE:  RMB 18,900 / USD2,760 

Read more about Programme Fees and Funding

FEE INCLUDES: Double occupancy accommodation, three meals per day, all domestic transportation, all entry tickets.

FEE EXCLUDES: Flight between Los Angeles and Beijing, China or USA visa, alcoholic drinks, travel insurance, personal spending on souvenirs and anything not mentioned under included.


  • A citizen of either the USA or China
  • Currently enrolled student at university level
  • A clear sense of social responsibility
  • An open-mind and genuine curiosity to learn about other cultures
  • A demonstrable interest in journalism and story telling


Early applications are advised as applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. 



BIG TALK is a US-based social initiative striving to connect individuals on a deeper level by skipping the small talk. The concept grew out of an online video series which as since garnered hundreds of thousands of views, into a card game which doubles up as a communication facilitation tool for workshops, orientations and events. Today BIG TALK partners with a range of organisations and academic institutions to explore new ways to connect individuals through engaging in more meaningful conversations. BIG TALK will be the key programme partner for the East West Stories Project and will be leading a new of workshops, mini-projects and exchange activities to achieve the programme's objectives. 

Application Procedure

  1. Submit application form
  2. Review period by Delegations For Dialogue and BIG TALK
  3. Interview with Delegations For Dialogue and BIG TALK
  4. Offer and deposit to secure place on delegation 


Since 1949, U.S – China relations have evolved through phases of intense hostility to improved diplomatic relations and ever-increasing economic cooperation. Despite this, the prospects for U.S – China relations remain uncertain. Indeed, one of President Trump's first statements regarding China was that the infamous 'One China' policy will be up for negotiation. With these provocative statements potentially setting the tone for future relations between China and the USA, it becomes all the more important to seek opportunities that can transcend politics and facilitate balanced dialogue between Chinese and US citizens.

The East West Stories Project has been designed to facilitate such an opportunity and will do so in the form of an innovative storytelling project whereby a select group of talented university students from China and the USA will gather in Los Angeles and Beijing to collectively document their experiences. Through a range of cultural exchange sessions, roundtable meetings, collaborative activities as well as international travel, the East West Stories Project will strive to promote mutual understanding between the future generation of leaders of China and the USA.