Spring Break Trip Offers Insights Into Chinese Life and Culture

On Saturday, March 9, 2019, Upper School students and faculty members traveled across the globe to Chengdu, China, for a 10-day cultural immersion trip.

The trip took place over spring break and was an opportunity for students to gain insight and understanding into Chinese culture, connect with students in China, and explore the similarities and differences between United States and Chinese culture, schooling and family life.

The group, led by chaperones Rob Fish, Director of Global and Civic Exchange; Sydney Kadiyala, Upper School engineering teacher; and Andrés Cardenas, Upper School physics teacher, and comprised of students Zachary Battleman ’21, Gabrielle Chernomorsky ’21, Nora Fellas '20, Jackson Freiman ’19, Shane Halpin ’19, Anthi Likitsakos ’21, Emily Madrid ’19, Lila Patterson '22, Oliver Peterson ’22, Eli Rubinson ’20, Kristie Sears '21, Gabriela Seguinot ’20, Avery Sheindlin ’22, Galadriel Stamm ’22, Kasper Veliz ’19 and Stella Zinaman ’22, began their trip with a welcome ceremony at the Chengdu No. 7 school and a dinner at a local restaurant. They were then introduced to the students with whom they would be staying during the homestay portion of the trip.

Masters students sat in on classes at Chengdu No. 7 school, and also had the opportunity to explore the area with visits to a giant panda breeding and research base, Mount Qingcheng, Mount Emei, among other outings.

Fish said that beyond exploring life in China, he is confident that “all of the students further developed their ability to be flexible, open to and empathetic to different viewpoints and ways of life, and more confident in their ability to navigate a ‘foreign’ environment and adjust to different ways of life.”

Kadiyala agreed: “The biggest highlight for me was to see the growth of the students on the trip. Students were very different at the end — you could see that the trip had a truly positive experience on them.”

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