Marcellin’s Young Leaders in China

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22 September 2017Image 1 - Marcellin students Alexander Peano and Beniamin Galea. Image 2 - Student sfrom Marcellin, St Joseph's and Whitefriars at the Temple of Heaven. Year 9 Marcellin students who participated in the China trip receive their certificate at Parliament House.

By Alexander Peano, Year 9, Marcellin College, Bulleen 

Victorian Young Leaders to China – where do I start! I will cherish this experience forever. Before I started at Marcellin I said to my mum that I wanted to be a part of it. I applied for the trip and was sceptical about getting in, but I did, and I was so happy!

We had lots of meetings which prepared us for the trip. One weekend we had a pre departure camp, when we met the other 10 schools. My school was with St Joseph’s College, Ferntree Gully, and Whitefriars College, Donvale.

On the day we left, March 22, I had mixed emotions about what was going to happen when I left my family. We arrived in Beijing and WOW was it different to Australia. We studied for two weeks at the Beijing Language and Culture University. Our classes were three hours every weekday, and then we went to different sightseeing places. I loved the Great Wall of China and the Summer Palace, and experiencing the culture, food and people.

After two weeks my group went to Shanghai, and the other group went to Nanjing. Before we left, we sat HSK 1, and nearly all achieved this level after only two weeks!

Shanghai was the highlight – the culture, the people and the food. We stayed at Shanghai I and C Foreign Language School for four weeks. We were very busy with school work and culture activities (tai chi, dragon dancing, tea ceremony, calligraphy, painting and other activities) and visits to famous places in Shanghai. We became good friend with our buddies. They helped with our Chinese and we also did classes with them. Some weekends we went out with our buddy. That was fun and a good way to learn more about Shanghai and how families lived.

At the end we sat a test for HSK 2 (Chinese proficiency test, level 2), and 9 of our 15 were successful – HSK 2 is the level you reach at the end of Year 10, so we had made excellent progress in our language. As well, we learned to be independent from our families and look after ourselves, making sure our clothes were washed and we were on time to class.

Thanks to the Department of Education and Marcellin College for making this immersion possible.