By Melody Young
This summer, the school will send 20 students on a two-week long educational trip to China. These students along with three faculty members will leave June 12 and return June 26.
The purpose of this trip is to provide an opportunity for current sophomores and juniors to experience the benefits of learning in cultural immersion. The experience will expose students to new perspectives and philosophies that will inspire them to expand their horizons while teaching them how to be global citizens. “Granada2Globe: China” is the trial for possible future trips of its kind. Significant scholarships helped reduce the cost to $1,000 plus visa fees per student, excluding personal expenses.
“The benefits of the cultural immersion are so valuable. We are constantly enriching our school’s learning objectives with programs like this. We would like to explore other destinations and the educational opportunities that come with them,” Community Outreach Coordinator and chaperone Marilyn Koziatek said.
On February 22, the school held an information session. Applications included a form, an essay, and a teacher recommendation. A selection committee of faculty members chose the participants from approximately 65 applicants based on the strength of their applications. The group of ten boys and ten girls come from diverse backgrounds to best represent a cross-section of the student population.
The trip is divided into two segments: one week of study abroad at Longhua Chinese-English Experimental School in Shenzhen and one week of cultural exploration in Xi’an and Beijing. Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) has previously worked with Longhua Chinese-English Experimental School, one of the affiliated schools of Yuanhengjia Education Group, which extended an invitation to host 20 GHCHS students. In Shenzhen, each GHCHS student will live with a host family who has a high school student at the school.
After the first week, the GHCHS group will spend three days in Xi’an, home to the Terracotta Warriors, and four days in Beijing, China’s capital. The group will visit key tourist attractions such as the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City complex. They will also learn about traditional culture through classes on cooking and the ancient art of cricket fighting.
In preparation for the trip, students will attend three pre-trip orientations that will include preparation such as lessons on introductory Mandarin, Chinese etiquette, history, and civics. As the students prepare for the trip, they have expressed their excitement about this opportunity.
“I have been studying Mandarin for over two years, and I have become very interested in Chinese culture. I am most looking forward to trying the food and talking with the locals. I am very excited about this trip because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” junior Gabriel Ellias said.