20 students and two teachers embarked on the Mother Tongue Languages (Chinese Language) Cultural Immersion Trip to Shanghai, China from 24 to 29 November 2019. The objectives of the trip were manifold – ranging from developing students’ 21st century competencies such as global awareness and cross-cultural sensitivities to exposing students to the development of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) beyond the confines of the classroom.
Students participated in an exchange programme with our partner school, No. 1 High School affiliated to East China Normal University (华东师大一附中) and stayed at the hostel on campus for the entire duration of the trip. They attended lessons and participated in various activities with their buddies, in turn learning about differences between the education systems in Shanghai and Singapore. In particular, the high levels of motivation and focus exhibited by the local students struck our students, leaving many of them impressed with their Chinese counterparts and cognisant of the critical role discipline plays in achieving academic success.
During their stay in Shanghai, the group was taken on educational tours to various points of interest. These included the Lu Xun Memorial Hall, eponymously named after the novelist regarded as the leading figure of modern Chinese literature, as well as the Soong Ching-ling Memorial Residence which houses a collection of cultural relics that once belonged to the wife of Sun Yat-sen. In addition to the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and Shanghai Natural History Museum, the group also had the rare opportunity to visit _Xin Che Jian_, a non-profit community-run makerspace which serves as a collaborative workspace for coders, designers, engineers and individuals from various professions. It was indeed a privilege for the students to have had the chance to interact with presenters from different backgrounds and hear, first-hand, about their entrepreneurial journey.
All in all, the trip to Shanghai was an enriching and memorable experience for students and teachers. The group departed Shanghai not just with fond memories of the times spent with one another, but more importantly, with a deeper understanding and appreciation of Chinese history, culture and literary works, alongside the technological transformation taking place in the modern metropolis.