In the first two weeks of July, the Mandarin Excellence Programme Year 8 students from across the country travelled to China for a two week intensive learning experience. 37 different schools attended the trip, travelling to ten different host university institutions in seven different cities: Beijing, Jinan, Xi’an, Shanghai, Chengdu, Kunming and Shenyang.
To give you some sense of the scale of the trip, we’ve created a map below. The schools were spread right across China. In fact, the distance from Shenyang, the most North Eastern city, to Kunming, the most South Eastern city, is around 1,655 miles; that’s about 100 miles further than the distance from London to Moscow! Each city and institution offered students a very different and unique first experience of China.
For most students, this was the first time they had visited China; and for some, it was even the first time they had left the UK. Students spent around two weeks with their host institution following a tightly planned programme of lessons and activities. The benefits of learning Chinese in China cannot be underestimated and the students all relished the opportunity to put the Mandarin they were learning immediately into practice outside of the classroom; bargaining in shops and markets quickly became a favourite activity for a lot of them!
Below are some of the tweets our different schools posted during their time in China which help to give a good impression of the varied and interesting time they had out there:
As well as Mandarin lessons every morning, our MEP students have visited various Beijing landmarks such as the great palaces at the Forbidden City, the royal ancient Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall! #mandarinexcellence pic.twitter.com/rghJ2wayJY
— Christ's College Finchley (@christscolfinch) July 15, 2019
Packed day so far … Opening ceremony, tour, lessons and lots of food and heat! @UCL_IOE_CI #mandarinexcellence pic.twitter.com/eYjGceGATn
— Lyng Hall. Languages and Culture Department (@lynghallmfltefl) July 6, 2019
MEP trip update: Fantastic day out at Jinan Licheng No.2 Secondary School! Pupils made Chinese friends, tried paper cutting and pottery, enjoyed the wonderful choir music, Chinese traditional dance and a folk music concert at the school. pic.twitter.com/c5xn02El9m
— QMGS (@qmgs1554) July 8, 2019
Some more pictures from the MEP China visit. pic.twitter.com/ClkRtgTnS3
— Bohunt (@BohuntSchool) July 9, 2019
Our Year 8 students are having an amazing time in Shanghai. Thank you to Mrs Horsley for sending the photo to us. #mandarinexcellenceprogramme #China #MEP pic.twitter.com/IqYQj7bML6
— Cowley, St Helens (@Cowleian) July 9, 2019
The metro system and shopping mall tested our students’ speaking and listening skills today #mandarinexcellenceprogramme #Shanghai2019 pic.twitter.com/U2OSF9V21M
— CWLC News & Events (@CWLCandSF) July 9, 2019
Today we went to Kunming weather bureau and met some Chinese weather girls. #MEP #MandarinExcellence pic.twitter.com/AF8tHH4us3
— DGS MFL (@MflDgs) July 9, 2019