CFT Enrichment Scholarships

Alice's enrichment trip to China

Enrichment trip to China

 

In August 2017, after receiving a bursary from the Calne Foundation Enrichment Scholarship, I travelled to China for two and a half weeks to better understand the people of China and their language. On the 11th August I arrived in Beijing and stayed there for two days before heading to Guilin- a city in southern China- which took 10 hours by train. When I arrived I was immediately struck by the lack of English. It was a complete culture shock. I had to quickly adapt, as I was travelling by myself without the help of translators or guides. At the beginning of the trip I nervously stumbled my way through interactions with taxi drivers but by the end of the two weeks my confidence had improved massively and I was actively engaging in conversations- even haggling in Chinese! In Guilin I stayed with a Chinese host family for two weeks. It was so interesting to be completely immersed in Chinese culture and understand how three generations live together. I helped the grandmother cook dried bean curd and watched Chinese films with Bella (the daughter). One day I arrived home to find Bella pulling out acupuncture needles from her grandmothers back! Every day, I walked to a nearby cafe for a bowl of Guilin noodles before getting on a bus to go to the Chinese Language Institute (CLI). CLI is a school designed to immerse foreigners in the Chinese language. For two weeks, I had four hours of one on one lessons Institute which massively improved my Chinese. I had three teachers and they were all very friendly, taking me on day trips to Yangshuo and the rice fields. Atop the Karst mountains, we drank green tea and learnt how to make tofu. Another day, I rode a bamboo boat down the Li River and admired the dramatic landscape of limestone karst hills. The visit shaped a very positive perception of China. I was overwhelmed by my host family’s kindness and strangers who patiently listened to me when I asked for directions- even in the pouring rain! It also gave me a lot of confidence going into my final, A level year. I greatly appreciate the generosity and would like to thank the Calne Foundation Trust for supporting this life-changing trip.

Whilst in China, I made a film which you can watch here:

 

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