In November this year, GEMS World Academy Dubai joined The Dragon Trip on a CAS trip to Chengdu in Sichuan province. During their time in China the students volunteered at a school for migrant children and their efforts attracted the attention of the local Chinese media!
22 international students, originating from 11 different countries, spent the day at a school for migrant children. They played sport, practiced their English and Chinese, ate together, laughed together and exchanged gifts.
The Chinese students were thrilled to welcome their international guests! The 7th graders said they had never met so many foreigners before and the visit “felt like a festival!”
So why should you include a visit to a migrant school in your international school trip? These institutions are established for the families of the workers who migrate to China’s big cities. Children of migrant families often find it difficult to enter the normal schooling system. Their temporary residential status, cultural differences and the disparities in the rural and urban education systems all affect their chances of getting a top-class education. As a result migrant schools are often overcrowded and lack the necessary resources to handle the unique needs of China’s floating population.
That is why some not-for-profit organisations have stepped in to help. The representative of the organisation who joined GEMS World Academy on their visit remarked “We hope foreign volunteers will be the key that can open the door to the rest of the world for migrant children. Volunteers’ behaviour, the way they speak and their culture is exactly what children at this age want and need to learn about.”
We are ecstatic to hear that our young dragons are really making a difference in the community and commanding the attention of the local people! They obviously made an important and lasting impression!
Fran studied Mandarin at Sheffield University and spent a year studying and living in Nanjing. She is a massive foodie and thinks the most important part of any trip is to try as much local food as possible! Now she is back in England she makes homemade jiaozi (dumplings) regularly, and can’t wait to eat the real deal on her next visit to China!
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To make your independent travel experience as pain free as possible, we've put together an example 3 day Beijing pre/post trip itinerary! It combines some of the must see sights with local hidden gems! Click here to read more.