01 Aug, 2013
10 : 00
Students at YCIS Shanghai are provided with an extensive range of opportunities to explore China, as well as a number of global destinations, all with the aim of helping develop well-rounded, globally competitive individuals.
One of the travel activities students are able to take part in is the schools’ World Classroom Programme. This programme is an expression of Yew Chung's vision of preparing young people to participate effectively in the new global society, a world characterised by cross-cultural interaction, dynamic change, and global interdependence. The World Classroom Programme offers students an opportunity to increase their awareness and understanding of other cultures, promotes critical thinking, and helps develop an appreciation for other points of view.
Each World Classroom trip is thoughtfully designed to enable YCIS students to immerse themselves in a variety of different experiences and stimuli that will help them learn about the culture they are visiting. These impactful excursions are offered from Year 7 through Year 10, giving students four years to take advantage of the opportunity to visit far-reaching parts of the globe, with destinations including the wilderness of Africa, historical sites in the US and Europe, and exotic locations throughout Asia.
Recently, YCIS Shanghai students participated in the World Classroom Programme trip to India, where the cultural experience is very different from China, and the trip offered the young travellers a truly unique learning journey.
Ms Sally Davis, Head of Performing Arts at Gubei Campus, facilitated the trip as a trained chaperone, and her description of the benefits realised by students is a clear illustration of what makes the programme so effective:
“From the Taj Mahal to elephant rides, and live Bollywood shows to overnight train rides, the World Classroom experience in India was one to be remembered forever. The two weeks took us from Delhi to Rajasthan, and finally to Mumbai, and along the way we were exposed to the extremes of this incredible country – the poor, the homeless, and those who try to help them, alongside the extremely wealthy. In the words of Year 10 student Young Ho, ‘it was easy to appreciate this sacred place.’”
Ms Davis went on to note that “the schedule was extremely busy, with so much packed into each day. At all of the monuments and palaces we visited, we noticed the pride the people of India take in keeping these landmarks in good condition, and surrounded by beautifully tended gardens. The Taj Mahal was awe-inspiring – a picture is one thing; actually seeing it is incredible. Everywhere you look there is colour – the beautiful saris, the flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables being sold, the jewels and the pashminas.
“In keeping with the philosophies of the World Classroom trips, we visited a number of schools. The visit to Don Bosco Ashalayam had us interacting with young boys who had been taken off the streets and given the opportunity to live and learn in safety. While communication was difficult, the students were soon interacting with each other on the basketball court, where no words were needed! At St Mary’s School, we met special needs children working on fine and gross motor skills, music and speech therapy, art, and cooking classes. This self-funded school is providing a solid and loving education for these children who would have otherwise been overlooked.
“World Classroom trips give the students a chance to experience many different aspects of a country’s culture: the food, the art, the music, the buildings, and the day-to-day existence of its people. This programme is a natural fit with our focus on providing a global education, and our students always grow and become more globally aware as a result of the experience.”