China Trip - Summer 2012

Categories: School News School Trips


On Friday 13th July, a group of three St. Ninian’s pupils - Anna O’Donnell, Megan Smith and Katie Hughes - travelled to Beijing, China, with 50 other Scottish pupils to take part in a three-week immersion programme to learn about the Chinese language and culture. Accompanied by St Ninian’s teacher Suzanne Boyle, they were welcomed at the airport by volunteer teachers and assistants of Beijing Foreign Studies University. They were then taken to the hotel on the University campus which would be their home for the duration of the trip.

The classes allowed the pupils to advance their Mandarin skills from a few basic words to being able to have conversations with Chinese locals. The classes were alive with song and games, and the teachers made a difficult language a pleasure to learn. Along with learning the language, the pupils learned a great deal about the fascinating culture of China – from the traditional crafts of paper cutting and knot tying to Tai Chi and acrobatics.

Other highlights included the many excursions to the gems of Beijing – they climbed the Great Wall, explored the Forbidden City, soaked up the sun at the Summer Palace, and although they missed the celebrations of London 2012, they still experienced the Olympic atmosphere at the Bird’s Nest Stadium. They also witnessed modern China on their visits to the Silk Market and Wangfujing Street – the biggest shopping street in Beijing, with both western-style high street stores and a traditional market.

“The trip opened my eyes to the wider world and different cultures” said Megan Smith (S6). The students hope to continue their study of Mandarin and remain in contact with their friends in China. A huge thank you to the girls for being fantastic ambassadors for the school and for the community as a whole.