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. We caught up with fifth-grade teacher Ms. Swain to hear her thoughts about the upcoming trip.

“I’m most excited for students to have an experience abroad. Whether it’s positive or negative, it will shape them,” she said. “When I studied abroad in Chengdu, I was only 21. The trip gave me a chance to reflect deeply on what I had learned. That’s what I want for the students.”

Ms. Swain notes that in her discussion with the students who will be going on the 2019 trip, two topics of preparation come up a lot: food and the plane ride. “The students are definitely worried about the plane ride. It’s fourteen-and-a-half hours to Beijing,” she said. When asked about helping students acclimate to jet lag, she said, “we may just have to do what we can to keep them awake. Poke them if they’re falling asleep.”

As she remembered her own trip to China, Ms. Swain recalled feeling like being out of her normal bubble. “You leave the US, go to another country, and you realize that the US is not the norm. Other parts of the world are very different,” she said.

We’re grateful for the ways this trip will help broaden our scholars’ horizons.