In July, 16 Sevenoaks School students joined the two-week 2011 Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) Summer Camp to China.
Joining another 400 students from 37 schools across England, we landed in Beijing, spending a number of days visiting local places of interest including the Great Wall, Olympic Stadium (Birds nest) and Forbidden City. We experienced some authentic touches of China, from rickshaw rides through old Beijing, to witnessing the gentleness of the Giant Panda. Schools were then split into four groups according to host schools in Chengdu, Harbin, Shanghai and Xi’an provinces. Sevenoaks students flew to Shanghai, where we benefitted from stimulating Mandarin lessons, fascinating cultural classes and exciting sights. Students also had an opportunity to build a strong bond with their fellow Chinese students and a rare chance to spend time with a local Chinese host family.
The most frequent feedback from students was that Shanghai is an unbelievably modern, energetic and engaging city, blowing away any preconceptions they had. They thoroughly enjoyed the charm of the Mandarin language and the rich culture, taking away a unique experience with many memories they can share with friends and family.
Homestay with a local family
An essay by Sevenoaks student Hannah Broido was selected for publication on the SSAT website. In it she describes the time she spent with her exchange partner's family. Read the essay here.