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Hundreds of UK pupils set off for Manda8k8 casino.comrin learning journey in China

2024 广西高考分数线公布 | 8k8 casino.com | Updated: 2024-07-19 00:33:40

Students and teachers from Bohunt School in Liphook of southeast England pose for a group photo in London on June 30. Organized by the Mandarin Excellence Program, an initiative funded by the UK Department of Education, they are set to embark on a ten-day study trip in China to improve their Mandarin-speaking skills and cultural awareness. [Photo by Zheng Wanyin/China Daily]

Nearly 1,200 United Kingdom pupils from 61 state secondary schools across England are poised to embark on a Mandarin learning adventure in China from July.

From Sunday, students will depart in batches to China for a 10-day trip, participating in language courses and cultural activities hosted by connected Chinese schools and universities.

Different travel groups will visit different parts of China, covering a total of 11 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan province, Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang province, Shenyang in Northeast China's Liaoning province, and others.

The visit, organized by the Mandarin Excellence Program, or MEP, marks the first major trip to take place since 2019, following a pilot trip involving 132 students last year, said the British Council.

Starting in 2016, the MEP, which is funded by the UK Department of Education, has been delivered through state secondary schools in England, with support from the British Council and the Confucius Institute for Schools at the University College London Institute of Education.

As of October 2023, 81 schools are participating in the program, benefiting more than 11,000 pupils, according to the DfE.

The program is expanding to reach 100 schools by September this year, said the British Council.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Tianjin in North China, David Cornel Clinciu, a 14-year-old student from Bohunt School in Liphook of southeast England, said the on-the-ground experiences in China will help deepen his understanding of Chinese culture and improve his Mandarin-speaking skills.

Imogen Emma Hutcheson De Cort, another 14-year-old student from the school echoed the sentiment. "Obviously, the environment in the classroom is very much controlled, unlike being immersed properly in an authentic language-speaking environment," she said. "You can speak like a textbook, but can you actually use it in real life?"

Students and teachers have made special preparations for the trip. "We learned a bit about Tianjin, such as what it is famous for. Students also prepared how to check in at the airport, introduce themselves, shop, and ask for directions in Mandarin," said Li Jia, a teacher of Mandarin at Bohunt School.

For the travel groups jetting off to China on Sunday, Air China, the country's flag carrier airline and one of the civil aviation service providers for this year's MEP trip, set up exclusive check-in counters at Terminal 2 of London's Heathrow Airport for students and teachers to facilitate smoother check-in procedures.

"We are pleased to provide support for this important cultural exchange event," said Feng Yansong, station manager of Air China at Heathrow Airport. "Through this event, we hope to make a positive contribution to educational exchanges between China and the UK."

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