Today we had the opportunity to visit the Xiamen Foreign Language High School (XFLHS) for a Get-Together, to which we had looked forward for a while. Their summer break had just begun but students remained at school just for us and took us on a tour around their beautiful campus.
The Get-Together started with an engaging introduction by Director Huang of XFLHS’ Office for Teaching Affairs. One of the top-notch high schools of foreign languages in Southern China, XFLHS has, over the past three decades, graduated a large number of excellent students who were admitted to big-name colleges and universities both in China and overseas.
Then we conversed with our Chinese counterparts and introduced NSLIY to them. Even in the brief period of time we had to talk with them, we were able to learn a lot about the differences between Chinese and American high schools. We were very impressed by their high level of English proficiency. After the tour on campus, several of us gave a few performances in their auditorium. Although some of the performers couldn’t do their act because of the pressing timeline, we all had a lot of fun dancing to 小苹果 together (a dance popular in China), in addition to several other performances.
It happened to be the school’s “Open Day” today and we were invited to join the event and perform in front of prospective students. The performances by us Americans helped give the school a better standing in the eyes of the visiting students and their parents and were enthusiastically welcomed! It’s amazing to think that something as simple as spontaneous dancing can leave such a deep i mpression on the Chinese people! The games jointly performed by us and the students of XFLHS highlighted the whole program!
We have now been in Xiamen for just over a week, and have made noticeable progress in our Chinese studies. Many of us have started mingling with the Xiamen University students. Although our conversations are often limited to basic questions and topics, it’s encouraging to see how the words we learn in the classroom translate to real life. We look forward to continuing to improve in regards to our language skills and our ability to bridge the social and cultural gap between us and the people of Xiamen.