Five of our students joined a group of young people from across the UK on a recent trip to China. The five, Alex Berkley, Ellice Wood, Ruth Foster, Sam Owen and Ciara Ward who are all studying Mandarin Chinese at the College, travelled with three year10 pupils from Saddleworth school – Milly Paton-Moore, Matilda Johns and Mia Goodyer – and their tutor Tiffany Fan.
The group left Manchester for the 17 day trip on 13 July, landing in Bejing on the 14th and meeting the other students involved during the flight. After two days in Beijing, they flew to the beautiful coastal city of Xiamen for 10 days, enjoying an intense experience of Chinese language and culture. During the trip they visited Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, Beijing Zoo and Hongqiao market in Beijing. They also enjoyed the Kongfu show in Tianqiao theatre. While the group was in Xiamen, they stayed in the Xiangan Campus of Xiamen University and took part in different levels of Chinese classes organised by very enthusiastic teachers and volunteers. One of the best days for the students was one spent with local Chinese families when they had the chance to make friends with young Chinese students. In Xiamen, the group visited Gulangyu Island and Nanputuo Temple and, of course, shopping in the city centre was always exciting!
The visit was sponsored by Hanban (the Confucious Institute) and about 400 students across the UK visited China this year on similar trips. Some of the students have now decided to complete one year of their studies in China when they are in university.
Alex Berkley commented:
“The trip on the whole was fascinating from beginning to end. I thought that the Kung fu session was most memorable as it gave me an insight into the hobbies of Chinese teenagers, and taught me some self defence too I think the food was also very tasty because it was very different to the food that we regularly eat in England. The trip certainly boosted my aspirations for Chinese as it showed me that the country is a world apart from England and that I would definitely want to go back there at some stage.”