说中文！(Speak Chinese!) Today was the group’s full “immersion day”, with no English allowed, except in certain situations such as Dr. Chen’s culture class.Although it took some getting used to, everybody stepped up to the challenge and jumped right in! Everywhere they went, the students conversed with each other and with their teachers and chaperons in Chinese: at meals, during and between classes, and during free time.
Shannam, Sydney and Zihan making new friends at dinner, practicing Chinese with Xiamen students
The students displayed attitudes of encouragement and mutual understanding as they helped each other get their meanings across, and patience as they searched for unknown words in their dictionaries and pantomimed to help facilitate communication. Although immersion days can be difficult, they are perhaps one of the best ways in which the students will be able to improve their language skills this summer.
Interest group: learn to dance
In addition to immersion day, today’s other major activity was our second Green Drive community service effort.
During today’s Green Drive, the students worked in their teams to help straighten up the many bikes around campus that had fallen over or were generally disorderly. They had thirty minutes to scour the area around the dining hall and the university’s famous Furong Tunnel for bikes to pick up. And the students reported having straightened up over 200 bikes across their five teams! Everyone really accomplished a lot today!