14 travel to China, explore culture and language during interactions with Chinese high schoolers

By Christine Jarjour

Calligraphy lessons, visits to the Forbidden City and dinners of traditional Beijing Duck and sea cucumber hotpots entertained Chinese language students for both weeks of spring break.

Students visited Suzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, where they stayed with a host school. The trip was chaperoned by Chinese teachers Binbin Wei and Qinru Zhou. While in Beijing, students stayed at the High School Affiliated to Beijing Normal University, sleeping in the dorms and attending classes. While there, the students gave a five minute presentation to the Chinese 10th graders in English about Harvard-Westlake, who then in turn gave a five minute presentation in Chinese about their school.

“Our students’ Chinese speaking often caused the admiration of Chinese people” Zhou said.

The students interacted very closely with the Advanced Placement class of the host school, visiting the Great Wall of China together. While at the high school, students took Chinese language and culture classes. The visiting students also gave feedback to the Chinese teachers at the high school on the teachers’ new design for a Chinese book for foreigners. The students also did several activities such as learning Taiji Shadow Boxing and calligraphy. In Huangzhou, the students visited the Silk Factory of Suzhou.