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Summer Camp in Beijing (08/15)

During the summer holidays 6 students travelled with a teacher to Beijing to learn more about Chinese history & culture, while practising their Mandarin.  

A student's view...

Over the summer I was given the fantastic opportunity to travel to Beijing on the ‘BFSU Beijing 2015 summer camp’. This trip allowed me to gain independence and gave me a strong sense of responsibility. I travelled with 6 peers from school and a boy from Harrow school.

 I stayed in the University of Beijing. Being given the opportunity to stay in a university gave me a sense of independence as I felt much more grown up and responsible for myself. Simple everyday tasks such as waking up on time was no longer down to an adult looking after me but myself, simple day to day tasks that I would usually have the aid of my mother for I had to take into my own hands and responsibility. I also gained a lot of insight into how life may be on campus as I met several other people aged 14-18 on the campus who I mixed with and studied with in classes aiming to learn some mandarin.

Meeting new friends from other parts of the world was an amazing opportunity in itself as I was not only exploring Chinese culture but from all over the world. For example, I met people from Russia, Hungary, Belgium, Spain and more. I was able to talk to these people from around the world about various different languages, foods, backgrounds and educations from different countries. As well as practicing and learning mandarin, I was also able to practice my French with others on campus that spoke French which was wonderful.

Each day we were given a Chinese buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with eating at various different restaurants along the way. This enabled me to try some proper Chinese cuisine and learning how to use chopsticks to eat my food. On one of the nights I was also given the opportunity to make some of my own traditional Chinese food with a practical lesson in making Chinese dumplings.

After having visited Beijing, I feel more at one with their history too as I spent a day with a Chinese family and we went to a historic museum. Furthermore, I also explored various different temples and palaces such as the Summer Palace where I also took a boat ride through a Chinese lake. This has given me the opportunity to expand my greater knowledge of Chinese history.

My favourite moment of the trip was conquering the ‘Great Wall of China’!  I viewed Beijing from a slightly different perspective way up high in the sky…as I climbed all the way to the top of the Great Wall of China and I was able to share this moment with many new and old friends.  

Overall this trip enabled me to experience and explore an extremely diverse and interesting culture and allowed me try out all aspects of what Beijing has to offer. I look forward to exploring the rest of China one day!  

Read another student's story.