Barrington Area Unit District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris shared some highlights of a visit he made with students to the Chinese consulate in downtown Chicago this week.

About 70 students and employees from District 220 were invited to the office by Consul General Hong Lei, a former spokesman and deputy director general for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The invitation came about a month after Hong observed the district's Chinese language immersion program, which has roughly 320 students from kindergarten through seventh grade.

Harris said the students benefited from the Chinese consulate visit because they were exposed to the social, political and cultural parts of the U.S.-China relationship. He said Hong and others at the consulate spoke to the District 220 students the entire time in Mandarin, providing an authentic immersion experience.

"We look forward to the continuing relationship with the Chinese consulate as we develop our high school Chinese immersion program that may include a student exchange program," Harris said.