What an amazing time we had in China!
From 16 March to 25 April, seven Year 9 students together with Mr Polizzi had the experience of a lifetime in China.
Leanna Nguyen, Keidis Galuega, Sage Cachia, Minnie Zhong, Donald La, Brylee-Jo Lewis and Hayden Cutajar spent two weeks at the Beijing Language and Culture University participating in intensive language classes, Chinese studies and cultural excursions, and four weeks at a Nanjing high school undertaking an in-school program while staying with host families.
The students will present their experiences to the school during an upcoming assembly but here are some of the highlights and photos:
Donald – Week One
Upon arriving in Week one, I noticed that BLCU and the broader city of Beijing has many different cuisines and meals. Within the BLCU canteen alone, there are 3 levels worth of incredible dishes to keep all students on their feet, trying new foods everyday (don’t worry parents, we’ve been eating our greens). Trying new foods within our university canteen has been an exciting journey – both in being able to try different foods, but also in honing our skills in ordering our food in Chinese dialogue, 我要这个！. It’s been a very fun experience. The core of the HANBAN program consists of intense Chinese language classes, educating students about the language in interactive and entertaining ways. 老师早上好. Teachers assist and tailor the classes to each individual student to extend and challenge students. 很难！Beyond the teachers and students participating in the program, the highlight of the trip so far belongs to the students from BLCU who have chosen to voluntarily spend their time with us, and put in an amazing effort to assist, travel and socialise with VYLC students. No matter where students travel, the volunteers are willing to be there, guide us in the large city and provide a slice of Chinese life in a fun and entertaining manner. 我爱BLCU的volunteers! 他们很有意思和可笑!
Brylee – Week Two
I have gained many new learning experiences, such as achieving many personal goals and overcoming the language barrier enough to order my own food with minimal help. I have also gained many new life lessons from this program, such as learning to not be afraid to talk to strangers when in 汉语. This program has shaped my understanding of the 汉语and culture enough for me to feel a deep connection with the 语言and know that I am meant to be here. It has also helped me want to learn more and want to keep studying and coming back to China. This program has helped me feel important somewhere other than home.
Sage – Week Three
我和上海人一起出去和与我的好友一起出去的不同之处在于，我能够在短时间内体验更多的上海，体验更多的中国文化。这是不同的，因为伙伴们专注于我们，我们能够用英语和中文与他们进行对话。I had an amazing experience with my buddy and host family, I experienced new food, we went to new places, made dumplings with my buddy and went to a beautiful park, which had many rides that I went on! My buddy took me out to a big shopping mall and we walked around looking at many different stores. I had lunch at his house and it was such a good experience having traditional 中文food with my buddy. I believe that I wouldn’t have been able to experience 上海if my buddy didn’t take me out as my buddy took me to many places in one day and we made and ate traditional 中文food. By taking the metro and walking within busy crowds, it helped me experience 上海and 中文commuters daily lives.
Leanna – Week Four
Prior to this trip, I had avoided any kind of leadership (领导), rather I had preferred following directions from others rather than handing out those directions. That changed during the course of our VYLC program. During our stay in Beijing(北京), as we began working on our HANBAN project, with such a small group, I couldn’t avoid staying out of any leadership role . During this time, I learnt what it meant to be a leader, how to cooperate and collaborate with your team – particularly on combining ideas, and how to be able to take control of a situation under pressure.
However I still need to gain confidence to make more use of the Chinese(我应该多说汉语)I’ve learnt over these past few weeks, as I still rely on my friends to translate and speak for me or speaking in English and using hand gestures to communicate. Although my Chinese has improved since being here, I will keep working on my Chinese language skills even after we return to Melbourne, Australia.
Keidis – Week Five
大家好,我叫 Keidis,我将分享我的中国之旅经历(hello everyone, my name is Keidis and I’ll be sharing my experience here in China). Coming to China knowing my 中文(Mandarin)wasn’t as great as others, I became nervous thinking I wasn’t going to do so well and that I may leave China after六个星期 (6 weeks) and have learned nothing! Over this trip I started to gain the confidence to use my Mandarin more in public, using my not so well Mandarin I made many mistakes but as I did it helped when the public and my classmates corrected me. This made me learn from my mistakes and more, over the course of 2-3 weeks in 北京 (Beijing), I realised my Mandarin had improved from the when I was in 澳大利亚(Australia) and I knew it was through the long and tiring classes. As I participated in more Chinese classes and 文化活动)cultural activities) I was then able to understand more complex things I never knew. Example; through shopping, I was able to bargain high prices down to low prices, 我(I) was also able to asks prices, and ask what this and that was, I was able to ask many questions like What do your parents work as? 你父母的工作吗?(Do they work ?)What’s the weather today ? What day is it today and basic everyday questions. Being here has given me great privilege and has improved my Mandarin to high levels I never thought I’d reach. China has developed not only my Chinese but also my confidence in using it, it also developed my 领导(leadership) in many unforgettable ways. It’s brought me a wonderful experience and still is, this is a great learning experience for future goals and more, it’s an awesome and fun opportunity to be a part of and I’m very grateful to be able to experience a different and effective 教育性教育性(educational) system. This trip to 中国 (China) has really changed the ways of my path!谢谢