Wednesday 3rd July 2019
The 26 students from our first MEP cohort arrived at the school this morning not only with their Chinese books and their backpacks but also with their luggage ready for the upcoming two-week study trip in Beijing!
Feeling excited about the extraordinary learning experience and the China adventure, they started the journey with the 13-hour flight from Heathrow to Beijing via Dubai.
Having safely arrived at Beijing, they are now heading to the accommodation venue and looking forward to their first meal in China.
Day 2-3 4th/5th July 2019
After having their first meal in China and tasted the delicious Beijing roasted duck, our MEP students started the next page of their adventure: Intensive Learning programme at Beijing Foreign Studies University.
On the next day of their arrival, the students headed to the university where they will be spending at least 4 hours a day on learning Mandarin. The students were first warmly welcomed by the representatives from British Council and the university. Then they enjoyed discovering three treasures of the Chinese culture : Pipa, Xiangsheng and Bianlian.
In the afternoon on the Day 2, students had their first Mandarin lesson learning how to buy things in shops, and went to a supermarket looking for five interesting and never-seen items (and sweets).
The Day 3 kicked off with four Mandarin lessons in the morning where students were working hard in the Mandarin-only learning environment. In the afternoon, students headed to the emblematic imperial Summer Palace and learnt about the empress - called Dragon Lady. They also witnessed and experienced how populated China is.
Day 3-4 7th/8th July 2019
As usual, the Day 3 started with four hours of Mandarin-only lessons. Our students seemed to be much more used to this immersion learning environment and built up a positive relationship with the local teachers. They also started to prepare for a piece of performance for the programme closing ceremony. Some of them opted for singing a song in Chinese; some of them opted for dancing; some of them opted for doing talk shows in Chinese; some of them opted for showing off their secret talents!
In the afternoon, our students went to the National Museum and gained more knowledge about the more-than-2000-year history of China with the rich collection. They especially discovered that the word China comes from the first Chinese empire - Qing - and the the Chinese characters that they are learning have been used for more than 1000 years.
On the Day 4, students shared what they discovered in the museum with each other in the morning and learnt to buy things, ask price and negotiate price in Mandarin.
In the afternoon, students went to see the exciting and extraordinary acrobatic show and went to a modern shopping area afterwards.
Day 5-6 9th and 10th July 2019
The Day 5 started with a series of lessons where students learnt to revise all has been learnt so far and especially all the language related to the self-introduction for the visit in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, our students went to a local secondary school to meet their Chinese peers. They had to use their language knowledge and their creativity to get to know each other and especially to collaborate in order to win the hilarious games. We are grateful for the effort that the local secondary school put in for organising such fun, interactive and intercultural afternoon.
On the 6th day, students learnt to ask price, ask size and bargain in Chinese. In the afternoon, students discovered the sumptuous “Forbidden City” which was an imperial residence and closed to civils for more than 600 years. Students also learnt about Chinese culture via objects, colours and architecture of the city.