A Trip to Remember: China Trip 2019

Sofia Williams, Staff Writer

On June 8, 2019, 10 students enrolled in Mandarin Chinese left for a trip that allowed them to completely immerse themselves in the everyday lives of teens living in China. 

Accompanied by Chinese teacher Yiyi Xu and history teacher Aaron Becker, the students traveled to Chengdu and Beijing.

In Chengdu, they tried traditional dishes including hot pot, a boiling broth and arrays of ingredients and sauces; a dish enjoyed for the social experience just as much as the taste. They also saw a Chinese face-changing performance, an ancient dramatic art consisting of dancers dressed in extravagant costumes and wearing masks that change with just a shake of the head or a flick of a fan. 

When the students traveled to Beijing, along with going to destinations such as the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, they lived with host families and go to The High School Affiliated to Capital Normal University, experiencing first hand the life of a Chinese teen. 

“They went to classes with [their hosts], took AP economics, biology and some art classes, learning how to write calligraphy and also do Chinese painting,” Xu said. “They got to stay with the families, and, [from the pictures that I saw], the families toured them around to local places, took them out for dinner, took them to the park, so they could get a taste of what living in a Chinese household is like.” 

Aside from the trip being beneficial in experiencing and understanding Chinese culture, the trip helped students practice their language skills. 

“I started learning in kindergarten, so I’m technically fluent in Chinese, but there’s a bunch of sayings and things that you need; going to China really filled in those gaps,” sophomore Theo Papachristos said.