An International Baccalaureate World Programme School

Each year, rising 7th and 8th graders get the opportunity to visit China, spending six weeks traveling the country and studying at Nanjing University as part of our China Summer Programme. Parents of students on the trip receive weekly updates about their kids’ behavior, academics, and health from the educator chaperones who accompany them. One of them, 8th grade social studies teacher Mr. Pavone, offers a window into this past summer’s trip.

“The trip was founded with a vision for a full immersion for students in the country,” he said, noting that students relinquish their technology for the duration of their stay in order to boost their openness to the sites, sounds, and people of China.

The students participate in a rigorous schedule while abroad, participating in study hall daily, practicing their Chinese characters and reviewing them weekly, taking Kung Fu classes weekly, and enrolling in on-level and advanced classes. Students even create presentations and performances. Between all of the academia, though, students travel, explore, and get a taste of the rich cultural heritage China offers.

“We did all the big stuff,” Mr. Pavone said. Students visited numerous sites, including the Terra Cotta Army of Xi’an, the waterfront in central Shanghai, and the Great Wall of China.

“Part of the Great Wall of China is actually submerged underwater,” remarked Mr. Pavone, explaining that students got to see a section of the wall that created the Panjiakou Dam, which provides power to the southern cities of Tianjin and Tangshan.

Overall, both Mr. Pavone and students were thrilled to explore a new place, and culture, especially after time studying it from afar. While everyone learned about China, Mr. Pavone also enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about 7th and 8th graders outside the classroom. “They were always hungry,” he said ruefully. “Luckily, restaurants were really willing to work with everyone’s needs, and we ate well.”

We’re so glad our students and faculty get to have this unique educational experience. Your support of Wesley helps makes our Chinese Program and our China Summer Programme possible. Check out our students heading to China in summer 2019!