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Educational Travel Broadens Concordia Student’s Views

September, 2014
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concordia-interim_item-1Each September, High School students at Concordia International School Shanghai leave their classrooms behind for more authentic learning opportunities around China as they participate in Interim, a weeklong educational travel experience.

High School students have several Interim options to choose from, with each one offering a choice of adventure, culture, and service themes in cities throughout China. No matter which Interim students opt for, they return with a broader understanding of their host country and themselves.

Theresa Ming, a grade 12 student at Concordia, reflects back on her Interim experience last year: “On my 2013-2014 Interim, I ventured with a group of twenty or so classmates and teachers to Beijing. Prior to the trip, I remember dreading it. It’s probably exactly like Shanghai. Nothing new. For the past two years, my Interim trips have primarily been a time for me to truly get out of my comfort zone and stretch my limits. After looking at the itinerary, I was rather upset. Why are we staying four nights in a four-star hotel? You must be kidding me. The abrupt change was enough to make me shudder. I entered the train with oversized suitcase, low expectations and a sour disposition. However, I am pleased to say that those initial expectations were far from accurate. Although I was not physically tested as I had been on past Interims, I believe I learned a much more valuable lesson: what it truly means to be aware.

“The purpose of this particular Interim, View Points: Living in Interesting Times, was to learn how the story of China was told through the eyes of business executives, foreign journalists and local villagers. Interview after interview, I realized how little I knew about the Chinese government and the views of its citizens. Of course I knew about censorship, but I didn’t know to what extent it was being carried out. Of course I knew about pollution, but I didn’t know that there were organizations working hard to clean it up. My rudimentary knowledge of the country that I live in didn’t even begin to scratch the surface. After each interview, I felt ashamed. I felt ashamed of the lifestyle that I have and the rights I possess that I so often take for granted.”

 

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