New culture, new language, new country!
The In-Country Learning Experience (ICLE) provides students with the opportunity to live with a homestay family, attend classes at one of our sister schools and see the sights and attractions in Beijing.
“I have learnt so much about the history of China and the people through my homestay mum and dad. They have helped me experience the best of my trip through sights, food and many long conversations. Nearly every morning, we’ve had a Chinese lesson where we have learnt a Chinese poem and a song which are special to China.” – Deanna Martinelli, Year 10
Two students, Deana and Amy (Year 10), have provided some reflections on the trip so far:
“Last Friday I began the long journey to China! After the first weekend with my homestay family, I had already learnt how dedicated my buddy was to her school work and I saw the busy lifestyle they lived. Every day, I have been meeting up with the students in the tour group and we discuss the similarities that we find with our families and I have found that with all the homestay families, there is a great sense of hospitality. They always want to make sure that you are comfortable and never hungry! My homestay family has taken me to the Beijing Zoo to see the Pandas and the Hu Tong (a traditional shopping alley) to see the cultural side of Beijing as well as many traditional Chinese restaurants. I have learnt so much about the history of China and the people through my homestay mum and dad. They have helped me experience the best of my trip through sights, food and many long conversations. Nearly every morning, we’ve had a Chinese lesson where we have learnt a chinese poem and a song which are special to China. We have also contributed in everyday classes to see how the Chinese students learn. There is so much respect displayed through their actions towards the teachers and the students like to learn as much as possible every day. The tour group was lucky enough to attend an English class where the students were learning the language. I spent some time talking with a Chinese student in English and a little bit of Chinese. He told me about his everyday life and how is was quit stressful and busy. The cultural differences between China and Australia are clearly evident. I am really enjoying this trip and the education and memories I am gaining from it!” – Deana Martinelli, Year 10
Last Friday morning, on September 14th, I began my journey to Beijing, China with the 2018 tour group. After arriving, I had the wonderful opportunity of staying with a homestay family for the first time. This family has been so wonderful to me over the course of the last couple of days and has made my trip so memorable. My family has taken me to see all of Beijing’s sights such as shopping centres, popular restaurants and tourist attractions, and have bought me many gifts along the way to make sure that I feel at home and comfortable. I was very fortunate to be placed in a family that understands the struggle of living in a country where you barely know the language, and completely understood if I had to ask my homestay student to translate for me. During the school week, the tour group and I attended classes with the Chinese students at 中关村中学 (Zhong Guan Cun Middle School). These classes were difficult but extremely interesting as you got to be part of a different learning environment and experience the cultural differences first hand, even if you can’t understand a word they are saying. In these classes I met many new friends and got to interact with the class. On other days, we spent our time sightseeing; going to places such as the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and The Forbidden City, which was extremely fun. Overall, the trip so far has been a once in a lifetime experience and I cannot think of a better way to spend my time in China. I enjoy getting to know new students and experience a whole new way of living through staying with another family. I am looking forward to the rest of the trip and I cannot wait to see what other amazing experiences I have.” – Amy Nutter, Year 10