Hello everyone! We are extremely excited to have been chosen to be the new student ambassadors for the cultural exchange and social innovation project! We had a bit of a rocky start to the trip, we almost missed our flight but we made it just on time for baggage and boarding! Just as last year, our first stop was at Shenzhen Institute of Technology (SIT) from May 28- June 1, 2018. During our visit we were welcomed with open arms from staff and students and we must say we were SPOILED! Those who worked on the cultural exchange project did a tremendous job touring us around the school, bringing us to different classes and showing us their facilities. The first day we attended a welcoming ceremony where we got our schedule for the week. We learned about the traditional Chinese tea ceremony, had morning tea with the Dean Mr. Zhang and of course the students taught me how to say a few words and phrases in Mandarin! Not to mention, they use so many different picture/video apps on their cell phones and all of the students have been teaching us how to use them! Douyin is a popular video app, we got to make a few videos together with the students. SIT recently started a flight attendants program in which Doris and I attended! This is a program that will soon be offered at Georgian College, we know it will be a success.
We also worked on a project with an alumnae of Georgian College (Kelsey Elliot) whom is teaching Business Marketing at the college! We worked on a video project with her to talk about her experiences working abroad and we were lucky enough to sit in on two of her classes and help her teach. She taught us that when teaching english to foreign students it’s best to speak slowly and clearly. She set a great example for how we should be giving presentations for the rest of the trip!
On the final day of our visit, we had a report meeting between Georgian College representatives and SIT representatives where we reviewed the project, made presentations and performed tea art with the students! It’s amazing how quickly we learned this ceremony and performed in front of so many people! Some of our biggest take aways have been the discipline and strictness of the classes (however still fun and interactive), different courses that they offer (such as wine tasting) and format of classroom (students stay in one class but change teachers for different subjects except optional classes offered to students will be held in different classes).
Doris has been in heaven eating familiar food from her home country and I have been trying many new dishes I’ve never experienced before. HOWEVER, I (Shannon) am vegan so it has been more complicated to expand on food horizons but Doris has been a great help giving me lots of variety of foods to try. Without her, I feel the language barrier would make this experience much more difficult for me, I’m lucky and thankful to have her as my partner in crime for this project!
Within the first 5 days of this trip we have already made so many new friends and memories with staff and students. Our next stops are Guangzhou, Foshan and Nanning. We can’t wait to see what the following weeks will bring!