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Stephen Perse Foundation China Trip 2016

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  • Day 14 – The Pearl Market

    Published 28/07/16

    On the final day in China we went to the Pearl market, which is a large indoor market originally set up to sell pearls, to do some last minute shopping for souvenirs. There was lot of cool stuff , but some of us found that it didn’t have as much variety as the market in Jinan. Nevertheless , we left the building with bags of presents and in a good mood! We all had the chance to bargain with each of our purchases and managed to get the price below half of the original price. Most of the sellers spoke decent English, however they seemed more content with lowering the prices if we spoke Mandarin. Some sellers gave us cheap prices because we were students but others significantly increased the price as they presumed we had decent amounts of money and our bargaining skills wouldn’t be very good. We found several good methods of making sellers go to the price you want. You could get a small amount of money out in advance and state that you only had that money, you could just walk away and only turn around when they shouted out a decent price.

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  • Day 13 – The Great Wall

    Published 25/07/16

    Today was our final one in Jinan. Our first challenge of the day was to get out of bed in time to check out before 6.30, then to eat one of our last Chinese breakfasts before leaving for the train station at 7.30. 

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  • Day 11 and 12 – Graduation

    Published 24/07/16

    Day 11

    Today was the final day of lessons and we spent most of it learning from the teacher what was in the final test. In the afternoon we attended a cultural lecture on Peking Opera and we learnt some opera hand movements and the significance of different opera mask colours. The evening was spent revising for the test. We were preparing for the YCT level 1 test and a test set by the teacher.

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  • Day 10 – Confucius

    Published 22/07/16

    Today was dedicated to China’s greatest teacher – Confucius. We had to get up an hour earlier to go visit his grave, temple and home. We travelled by  bus for 3 hours to his hometown Qufu and arrived at the Confucius family graveyard first. The whole area was pathways with mounds in the grass for the different burials. If there was a tombstone it showed that you had money or were important, if it was just a large dirt mound it meant that it was where commoners were buried.

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  • Day 9 – Aventure Time!

    Published 20/07/16

    We started off the day with our normal Chinese lessons . Today we learnt about directions . After lessons, we had lunch in the canteen and had a little rest before moving on to our cultural lectures. This time we did an ancient Chinese art of dough modelling ( 面塑 ) . 

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  • Day 7 & 8 – Transformers and a teddy bear, lots of exploring

    Published 19/07/16

    Day 7

    After normal language lessons in the morning, we took part in an ‘amazing race’ around the campus. It was very useful as it helped us to orientate ourselves in the area and get to know our way around. In this activity we had to complete different challenges, which required us to work together, improving our teamwork. The challenge involved using our Mandarin to interview Chinese students on campus and find information. It was a race between 6 teams – the first team to get back having answered all the questions on the sheet was the winner. Our team was quite pleased with coming 2nd as we were slightly outnumbered with only 3 people on the team.

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  • Day 6 – Calligraphy, Chopsticks, Tai-Chi and Dumplings

    Published 17/07/16

    On the sixth day we had class in the morning, in which we had a short test on a few characters and pinyin, then continued with the practice of market place conversation and snacks. There was a lot of new characters to learn along with some sentence structures. After our break we got to practise and perform conversations, testing our ability to use the sentence structures and correctly pronounce the new vocabulary.

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  • Day 5 – Shopping, Snacks and Chinese boy bands

    Published 16/07/16

    Last night we went to the night market,there was a large variety of different stalls set up along the street. There were a lot of people selling food filling the air with smoke from the grill and a bunch of stalls were selling items such as t-shirts, shoes, hats and shorts. Most of the food was really strange, they cooked rats, cockroaches and other types of bugs. Some people were selling dogs, cats, mice and other animals which they kept in small cages. The street was very crowded and cramped from the large groups of people walking around; the bright lights from the stores surrounding us kept the market lit up.

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  • Day 4 - Double happiness and tea

    Published 15/07/16

    One the fourth day, we had our first introductory lesson in our Chinese groups . The lessons were in the morning , and we spent the first 30 minutes choosing our Chinese lessons . Although class was almost too easy and many people swapped to a harder class, our teacher soon started to cover important and useful topics like shopping and bargaining , a useful feature we have to use for the markets .

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  • Day 3 – Shandong University 山东大学

    Published 14/07/16

    On our third proper day in China we took the train to Jinan, a city just south of Beijing and the capital of the Shandong province. We had an early start to the day to make sure we arrived at the train station on time. The station in Beijing was very big and spacious – very different to the familiar train station in Cambridge. We were very surprised to learn that the train stopped off at each station for one or two minutes, leaving us barely any time to get on and off! The train journey took us just under two hours, so we arrived in Jinan in time for lunch.

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  • Day 2 – the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace

    Published 13/07/16

    The second day in China was once again packed with activities. Firstly, the forbidden city (or gugong), a large group of buildings occupied by the emperor, his family and his officials, by emperors of the Qing and Ming dynasties. It is called forbidden because those who weren’t officials or relatives of the emperor were not permitted inside. There were nine main buildings to visit, which had several interesting quirks. Features are often arranged in groups of nine in the forbidden city, as this number represents the emperor’s power because jiu meaning nine can also mean long life. There were gold embellishments grouped in nines, and the dragon (another symbol of the emperor’s power) is believed to have nine children who each represent a different aspect of this power.

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  • Day 1 – The Confucius Institute Headquarters and Tiananmen Square

    Published 12/07/16

    Our first visit was to the Confucius institute headquarters, where we visited a small museum. Although it was only a few rooms, it was full of fascinating cultural artefacts, including a range of pottery and artworks, costumes from several regions and periods of China, and an array of traditional Chinese musical instruments. There was also the opportunity for students to wear authentic Chinese opera robes, and to print a picture of their birth year’s zodiac.

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  • Pre-trip Information

    Published 12/05/16

    What is needed for the trip:

    It is highly recommended that the student and her parents consider what items are going to be taken on this trip.

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  • Itinerary in Beijing and Jinan

    Published 12/05/16

    Here is the itinerary for our trip to China 2016

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  • Accommodation in China

    Published 12/05/16

    Here is where we are staying in China. Check out the Beijing and Jinan itinerary tab for when we are going to be at each place.

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  • China 2016 Diary

    Published 12/05/16

    You can follow what we are doing each day in China and see our photos through this student written blog.

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