Hello from Tianjin, China!
As of Monday, May 25 we have arrived in Tianjin, China. We are staying at a hotel in walking distance to Tianjin University. With the help of student ambassadors from the university, we are being able to visit many Chinese schools and learn about their education system.
On Tuesday we went to a middle school and had a chance to visit one-on-one with the students. For the most part the students could speak good English. The young girl I visited with told me about her family, her hobbies, the food she eats, and what a typical school day is like for her. We then split into groups and went into classrooms and gave presentations on the American culture.
Today we went to a daycare and had a chance to interact with the kids in the classroom; this was so much fun and the kids amazed me at how well they could speak English. Each classroom had children anywhere from the age of 3 to 6 years old. One girl I talked with who was 6-years-old told me the ABCs, counted to 40, could say all her body parts, and colors in English. I was shocked at how much English she knew for being only 6-years-old. We then went outside and joined other classes to sing and dance. My group even taught our class duck, duck, goose and Simon Says. The kids really enjoyed this.
This afternoon we went to a primary school and played outdoor games like soccer and agility runs with the kids. We all had a blast interacting, they even taught us a few other Chinese games they play. For me not being able to speak Chinese, I am surprised how well I could learn the rules to the games and interact. As a group we gave one presentation again on American culture, sang songs to them, and played heads up seven up with them. Then they even sang some Chines songs to us.
It has been a great few days interacting with the different age groups and learning about their education system. To the Chinese, education is very important and the kids work very hard to do well in school. As they get older, they go to school longer than 8 a.m.-3 p.m. like we are use to in America.
Kelsey Haelfrisch is senior majoring in family and consumer sciences – child, youth and family studies at UW-Stevens Point.