This month, The New Century School was pleased and honored to be part of the 2015 Chinese Bridge Delegation to China. This annual 9-day educational program aims to help K–12 schools strengthen their Chinese programs and partnerships. School visits, cultural activities, and educational workshops comprise the itinerary for this very special opportunity.
The delegation is hosted by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in China in conjunction with The K–12 College Board. Hanban is the executive body of the Chinese Language Council International, an organization affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education of China. Hanban’s mission is to “[make] Chinese language and culture teaching resources and services available to the world, to [meet] the demands of overseas Chinese learners to the utmost, [and] to [contribute] to the formation of a world of cultural diversity and harmony.”
The 250-member delegation comprising school representatives from all across the United States arrived in Beijing on November 10th and from there dispersed into smaller groups to visit respective provinces. TNCS had the good fortune to visit Tianjin, a bustling port city of ~15 million residents in northeastern China. Tianjin’s mix of traditional and modern architecture is quite renowned, perhaps only slightly less famous than its cuisine. In Tianjin, guests are traditionally welcomed with all manner of noodle dishes and bade farewell with an equal variety of dumplings. But the most well-known Tianjin delicacy is “da mahua,” or 麻花.
Despite all of the amazing sights Tianjin had to offer such as Wudadao (Five Great Avenues) and the surrounding historic districts, however, the real purpose of the visit was to tour schools. TNCS was very warmly welcomed by Kunming Road Primary School and Weishan Road High School, with whom friendships were made and future partnerships proposed.
During the school visits, the delegation met with Chinese educators, observed classes, and interacted with students. The graciousness with which Principal Li and Principle Wen welcomed the delegation into their respective schools was wonderful to experience. It was clear that they were striving to impress the delegation in the hopes of establishing meaningful partnerships with U.S. schools.
The Tianjin visit culminated with a very special tour of Tianjin International Chinese College, which hosts students from abroad to learn the Mandarin Chinese language and be immersed in several facets of Chinese culture.
After a few days, the delegation in its entirety regrouped in Beijing to visit one more primary school, network with U.S. colleagues, attend presentations on best practices, and gather resources to build and support Chinese language and culture programs. TNCS will soon reap the benefits of this incredibly productive visit to China from increased idea exchange and resources as well as personal contacts.
Everywhere the delegation went, they received four-star treatment . . . and lots of entertainment in the form of singing, dancing, and more. TNCS students might just recognize this lovely song . . .
感谢您阅读! Gǎnxiè nín yuèdú!