Jun Kong, Feng Li, Yi Yao, Suzanne Nanga, Tom Fryer
Mar. 24-27: Chengdu
Mar. 28: Nanjing
Mar. 29: Changzhou
Mar. 30: Wuxi
Mar. 31-Apr.1: Shanghai
Apr. 2-3: Suzhou
Apr. 4: Wuzhen
Apr. 5-6: Hangzhou
Apr. 7: Ningbo
Apr. 8: Yichang
CEEDS China visiting trip – Chengdu
The first stop of our visiting trip was at Chengdu with a nationally recognized name of Tianfu zhi guo (which literally means “the country of heaven”). During the four days starting from Mar. 24, CEEDS team visited four key schools in the city: The Middle School attached to Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu Foreign languages School, Chengdu No. 7 High School and Chengdu Liewu Middle School.
The Middle School attached to Sichuan Normal University is one of the earliest approved provincial key schools, with a history of more than 60 years. It is also a state-level model high school, situated next to the picturesque Shizi Mountain and close to the academic excellence of Sichuan Normal University.
Chengdu Foreign Languages School was established in 1989 as the first middle school in Sichuan Province with foreign language teaching as its primary characteristic. It is one of the 16 foreign languages schools approved by the State Education Ministry, which has the right to recommend students for admission to key universities without taking entrance examinations.
Chengdu No. 7 High School is nationally famous school with a history of more than 100 years and has sent many excellent graduated students to top universities both at home and abroad.
Chengdu Liewu Middle School is also renowned for its good traditions in teaching and studying and is among the earliest provincial key schools and model high schools in Sichuan.
In each school, the five members of our CEEDS team first gave a presentation on different topics, such as an introduction of UK and Cambridge, different stages to study abroad and students’ life in Cambridge. While introducing personal pathways to these school students, CEEDS team members also encouraged them to aim high and try best to realize their dreams in life. After the presentation, there was always a Q&A session in which students could not wait to ask all kinds of questions. Some of them were interested in how to apply to UK universities; some were concerned about how to make friends with foreign students; still some asked how the experience abroad would help in their future development. CEEDS members happily answered all the questions and offered the students good advice based on their personal experiences.
On the last day in Chengdu, the CEEDS team went to see the famous Leshan Giant Buddha to the south of Chengdu. It is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world and has always been a must-go for tourists. During the stay in Chengdu, CEEDS team also visited other tourist attractions like Jili Ancient Street and Wuhou Temple; we tasted local dim-sums and snacks of Chengdu and above all, the alluring hotpot!
CEEDS China visiting trip – Jiangsu and Shanghai
Leaving Chengdu, CEEDS team flied all the way to the beautiful and productive Jiang nan region (referring to lands to the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, including the southern part of the Yangtze Delta.) The first stop is Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province. CEEDS team first paid visits to China Pharmaceutical University and Zhigong Party Committee of Jiangsu. We then went to the most famous landmark of Nanjing, the Zhongshan Tomb (also Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum). Our English member Tom and Suzanne had known more about this Founding Fatherof Republican China, after this visit. CEEDS team went to Changzhou city the next day and visited Changzhou No. 1 Middle School. Apart from the general interest in life in Cambridge, students also showed curiosity in more practical issues for their level, such as how to study more efficiently and how to arrange the time outside of school. CEEDS member recalled their high school life and offered some suggestions. We then arrived at Wuxi Guanghua School Cambridge Centre, which is off the beautiful Taihu Lake. Actually, there are a number of private schools where A-Level courses are offered and students can apply for universities in many countries like UK, US, Canada and etc. after they have taken the global tests. In this case, what our presentations have covered was basically more relevant and thus helpful to their future path. Knowing that many students would be preparing for the application materials to universities, CEEDS member Yi Yao focused her presentation on how to write a good personal statement.
While in Shanghai, apart from the school visiting, CEEDS team also went to scenic spots like the Bund and Yuyuan Garden. Tom and Suzanne were really amazed by the size and modernity of the city and impressed by the country’s development. During the one-week visits in this area, we were mostly impressed by the visit to Suzhou High School A-level Centre. Some of the members were the tutors for the students who had participated in our winter exchange programme, so the connection was much enhanced from the beginning. We felt happy to see the students’ holding passion for their study and a clear goal for their future. The visit to the renowned Suzhou Gardens was definitely the highlight of this trip.
CEEDS China visiting trip – Zhejiang
After a hard goodbye with the students in Suzhou, our team got on the coach which took us to the ancient scenic town of Wuzhen. Wuzhen displays its history through its ancient stone bridges, stone pathways and delicate wood carvings. The boat tour in the river somehow reminded us of punting at river Cam. Then we stopped at Hangzhou; the tiredness from all the days’ travelling has been totally driven away when we saw the heavenly West Lake. No wonder there is saying goes “Heaven Above,Suzhou and Hangzhoubelow.”
We first visited Hangzhou Normal University. Compared with high school students, these college students have clearer aims for their future and asked more practical questions. Some of them even asked how feasible it is to build a family abroad, which really took us all aback! We arrived at Hangzhou Foreign Language School the next day; this middle school looked much like a university campus for all the buildings and atmosphere. We gave a presentation and then talked with the students who had already been recommended to some university without having to take any exams. They were more curious about how to make the most of the undergraduate years and make plans for the future study.
At last, we paid visit to Ningbo Zhenhai Cambridge International Centre. As a state-level model middle school with a history of more than 100 years, Zhenhai Middle School always paid much attention to international exchanges and communications. The Centre director, Mr. Lee told us that many of the students here have been admitted into top universities in the US and UK, some even with a considerable sum of scholarship. CEEDS team also gave a presentation on study life in Cambridge and application to UK universities.
CEEDS China visiting trip – Yichang
As have been kindly invited by a Cambridge alumnus, CEEDS team made it to Yichang of Hubei Province and visited the International class in Yichang No. 1 Middle School. Although the international course has been newly set up, we were quite impressed by the English level of the students. During the 2-hour interaction, we answered many questions from the curious students and took pictures with them afterwards in the beautiful campus.
CEEDS China trip then came to the end to everyone’s heart’s content.
Reports by schools:
The Middle School attached to Sichuan Normal University: http://www.sdfz.net/article.aspx?id=1735
Changzhou No. 1 Middle School: http://www.czyz.com.cn/www/html/guojichu/guojijiaoliu/201103/30-3540.html
Suzhou High School Cambridge Centre: http://www.szzxs.com/alevel/Show_Article.aspx?ArticleID=305&ClassID=9
More photos for the trip: