By Christine Hardy
This past summer, I along with three other Lindblom students, were able to study abroad in China through the CPS sponsored program Chinese Summer Language, Culture, and Technology Initiative (CSLCTI). This program allows 24 students from across CPS to study abroad in China, to prepare for the AP Chinese test, learn more about the Chinese culture, learn about clean energy techniques in China, all while practicing their Chinese skills. The other three LMSA students were seniors Nick Loeza, Osasehre Edomwande, and Michelle Lockett.
The first three days of the month long trip were spent in Beijing, there we went sightseeing, and saw many different places that we have previously learned about in our Chinese classes at LMSA. Some of these places included The Forbidden City, The Great Wall of China, and The Summer Palace. Being in Beijing felt surreal because I had only seen places like the Great Wall and Forbidden City in pictures, and I was now experiencing these places in person. While in Beijing, I also got to see a traditional Gongfu show and try Beijing Roast Duck, which is a famous dish throughout China, for the first time.
After Beijing, we traveled to Hangzhou, where the bulk of the trip was spent. However, in Hangzhou weekdays were spent in classrooms, taking chinese classes, along with other various seminars. These seminars were either about important cultural aspects of China, such as the teachings of important philosophers, like Confucius, Laozi, and Sunzi, or seminars that related to green energy and related technologies. Saturdays were usually spent going on field trips that related to the seminars that we participated in, like visiting a hydroelectric plant, or taking a tour of a gas company. During our time in Hangzhou, we stayed on the campus of the Hangzhou Wanxiang Polytechnic Institute. Our group was paired with six ambassadors, who were students of the university. Our ambassadors showed us around the campus, went with us on our field trips throughout Hangzhou, and were our overall guides in this new place.
After leaving Hangzhou, we went to Shanghai, which is where we spent our last three days in China. In Shanghai, we were able to visit the Oriental Pearl Tower, which is a radio and television tower in Shanghai, known for its revolving restaurant and sightseeing floor that is 863 feet above the ground. We also visited and shopped at a lot of different markets, where we were able to bargain with shop owners about different things that we wanted to buy.
Out of the three cities, Hangzhou was my favorite for many reasons. Not only was it where most of my time was spent on the trip, but it was where I became closest to the other 23 students on this trip, along with our six ambassadors and three other university students that we became friends with within days of getting to Hangzhou. Overall, I feel that this trip was very beneficial to bettering my Chinese skills and it helped for me to learn more about the Chinese culture.