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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week


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    [post_content] => Hi Everybody,

This is Karen (Joel’s wife). I have been hearing stories about your trip for the last week. I wish I had went on the adventure with you – it sounds like it was pretty amazing.

Joel just gave me a stack of letters that you wrote for me. I want to thank you all for sharing your stories from the trip. I loved hearing all of your voices come through in the words that you wrote. It was nice to hear the different perspectives. It was also fun to have Joel explain a few of the inside jokes that you wrote about.

Wishing you all the best. Thank you again for the letters.

Best,
Karen
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

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Thank you for your letters!

Karen Ng (Joel's wife),SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

Hi Everybody, This is Karen (Joel’s wife). I have been hearing stories about your trip for the last week. I wish I had went on the adventure with you – it sounds like it was pretty amazing. Joel just gave me a stack of letters that you wrote for me. I want to thank you […]

Posted On

08/15/16

Author

Karen Ng (Joel's wife)

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    [post_content] => The group has landed safely in Los Angeles and students are on their way to rendezvous with families or to their gates for onward flights home.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy return home!
    [post_title] => Group Landed Safely at LAX in Los Angeles
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

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Group Landed Safely at LAX in Los Angeles

Jody Segar,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

The group has landed safely in Los Angeles and students are on their way to rendezvous with families or to their gates for onward flights home. Wishing everyone a safe and happy return home!

Posted On

07/28/16

Author

Jody Segar

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    [post_content] => 3:30 this morning, the mini bus arrived at our hostel at the bottom of the Great Wall picking up all of us for the airport. It was cool and breezy outside with lots of stars in the sky. Charlie pointed out the Dipper to me while we were putting our luggages onto the bus. We both looked at the sky for 5 seconds. I don't know when I will look at stars with Charlie again. I can't believe that our group is leaving China today. During our three days transference, we hiked on the Great Wall, learned from each other's ISP presentations, worked hard on the evaluations, enjoyed an amazing last meal with dumplings and showed each other love and gratitude in a final ceremony. A month is gone in a blink of the eye. We have done a lot. To reflect and share our experiences, we asked everyone in the group to write a letter to their loved ones back home about what they want to say to you, what they have learned and how they have felt. Below are the letters from them.

Dear loved ones,

My one month adventure has come to an end.

I really want you to know that this trip has been one of the best experiences in my life, because I’ve learned not only an alien language, but to live an alien way of life. Through out this adventure, I’ve felt happy, sad, excited, exhausted and everything in between. I’ve been in my ‘comfort zone’ with our group community, pushed into the ‘learning zone’ by the language barrier and new culture, and occasionally found myself in the ‘panic zone’ when I hadn’t showered in days or was lost in Kunming. I am looking forward to seeing everyone at home but will miss all the incredible friend I’ve met, laughed and lived with.

I really want you to know that I will miss China so much. My favorite experience is so hard to pinpoint, because I loved my homestay families, the group, the culture and so much more. I’ve learned so much about the culture of China and the people. I feel so grateful for all the hospitality and lessons of the locals, my instructors and my fellow group members.

I really want you to know that I really appreciate everything you have done to support me with this journey. I have learned much about myself and my skills. I feel that I will improve as a person because of this trip. Thank you so much for everything. Love.

I really want you to know that China has been great. I am truly glad I came on this adventure! I’ve learned that people are curious and kind at heart. I feel that I’ve changed but not noticeable on everyday life. I cannot put into words how I feel.

I really want you to know that my interest for learning about the world has never been stronger. I have learned to redefine my values and priorities, to realize what other people do for me and how I impact my surroundings. I often felt extremely curious about my surroundings but sometimes get frustrated at things I didn’t understand.

I really want you to know that I miss you guys and I have eaten plenty of good food so mom, don’t worry. I’ve learned how to do Chinese folk dance and how to navigate a foreign city, and I’ve felt unrivaled sense of exploration.

I really want you to know that I made it. I’ve learned that I am a perfect non-verbal speaker. I feel all of the above.

I really want you to know that I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone. There have been physical and mental challenges that I did not know that I could accomplish, but the instructors were encouraging and supportive throughout. I bonded with group members, teachers and people in our Chinese communities. I’ve learned what it means to truly depend on each other and work as a whole. Being in rural China gave me a sense of community that I’ve never experienced before; it was remarkable to see a group of people that appreciated each other so much. They worked hard and played harder together. The general hospitality here has made me feel more hesitant about leaving. I am going to miss everyone in this group, especially those who lives across the country, even the world. I hope everyone has a new sense of confidence towards being independent and having conversations only in Chinese like I have.

I really want you to know that it was the most adventurous thing I’ve done in my life. It was uncomfortable at times but I’ve learned so much. I learned some Chinese. I learned about Chinese culture, religion, history and art. I learned chicken feet taste bad and goat tastes good. I learned I can’t survive too long without coffee and the Starbucks open at 9:00 in Kunming. I learned what a typical family is like in China. I felt many emotions. I felt carefree when treading through water up to my ankles with all my best friends in Beijing during a storm. I felt sad when I ate the eggs of a chicken I watched get killed just minutes before. I felt proud when I spoke to my host mom in Chinese. I felt loved and emotional saying goodbye to my friends I made on this trip, On that note, see you all soon. I will miss you China Language 4 and will carry these memories with me for a long time.

I really want you to know that I loved this trip. I’ve learned about Chinese culture and I felt a little sad that it is over.

I really want you to know that I had a lot of fun. I’ve learned how different the lifestyle from the urban to rural cities is. I feel very grateful to have had this experience.

I really want you to know that I had a lot of fun and am very thankful for you giving me the opportunity to learn. I’ve learned how beautiful the Chinese culture is and I’ve certainly learned about who I am as a person. I loved the way learning made me feel. I felt grateful to have become a world citizen, joyous for the people I have met, and excited to take the next step.

Last but not least, I really want you to know that this trip has stimulated my thoughts and imagination to a great extent by offering me knowledge about the language, traditions, culture and the artistic beauties of China. I would also like you to be aware that I thank you with all my heart for giving me this opportunity to come here. I’ve learned many interesting facts about China, especially through the research that everyone has made for their ISPs. For instance, Ginebra has shown us some examples of traditional Chinese dance; Kyra and Sammy have sung some traditional Chinese songs; Graham has talked about illegal animal trade; Talia has given us a great account on beauty standards in China; Grace has talked about gender inequality and Harrison has presented the economic differences between rural areas and metropolitan areas in China. Moreover, Charlie has talked about Buddhist meditation, adding fundamental information to my research about Buddhist philosophy. Thus with all the knowledge I have acquired, I feel ready to go home and report to my loved ones everything I have seen and learned. I feel very contented and happy to have embarked on this incredible experience.

Love.

Shuier on behalf of China Language 4

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A letter to our loved ones

China Language 4,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

3:30 this morning, the mini bus arrived at our hostel at the bottom of the Great Wall picking up all of us for the airport. It was cool and breezy outside with lots of stars in the sky. Charlie pointed out the Dipper to me while we were putting our luggages onto the bus. We […]

Posted On

07/28/16

Author

China Language 4

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    [post_content] => Dear Loved Ones: we are through security and about to board our plane to Shanghai. Grace has already met up with her father and Emanuela is back in the airport waiting for her flight to Milan. Sam will leave us in Shanghai for London.

We will update again once back in the U.S.
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

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Through Security

Instructors,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

Dear Loved Ones: we are through security and about to board our plane to Shanghai. Grace has already met up with her father and Emanuela is back in the airport waiting for her flight to Milan. Sam will leave us in Shanghai for London. We will update again once back in the U.S.

Posted On

07/27/16

Author

Instructors

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-26 15:52:24
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    [post_content] => Dear China Language 4-week Students & Families,

China Language 4-week summer program students will soon be boarding their planes to return home and share their tales of adventure with each of you. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for your reference:

July 28th, 2016

China Eastern #5183

Depart: Beijing (PEK) 7:35 AM

Arrive: Shanghai (PVG) 9:50 AM

 

July 28th, 2016

China Eastern #583

Depart: Shanghai (PVG) 1:00 PM

Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 10:05 AM

Should you need any assistance during student travel days, please call our Admin cell phone for assistance: 303-921-6078, or email: update@wheretherebedragons.com.

We wish all students a great trip home!

Sincerely,

Dragons Administration
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

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Return Travel Information

Eva Vanek,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

Dear China Language 4-week Students & Families, China Language 4-week summer program students will soon be boarding their planes to return home and share their tales of adventure with each of you. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival! Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for your reference: July […]

Posted On

07/26/16

Author

Eva Vanek

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    [post_content] => Two days ago we said goodbye to Kunming - for me, it meant leaving more than just another Chinese city. In ten days Kunming had transformed from a terrifying web of crowded public transit and noisy vendors to a home. This home was not just limited to the apartment of my homestay family, or the seven flights we walked up to the program house everyday. It was made of the ayi (auntie) selling fruit on the street corner that I frequented most mornings and the kind waitresses at As You Like (a hole in the wall cafe hidden at the end of an unnamed alley) who grew used to my order of 2 raspberry-apple-banana smoothies, a red bean salad, a garden salad, a vegetable frittata, and an apple cake (in my defense, we did a lot of walking). Of course, I was also sad to leave Coco, my seven year old meimei (younger sister) with whom I had played legos, climbed mountains, danced, played ping pong, and slept with every night.

In Kunming we visited such sights as the huaniao (flower bird) market, Green Lake, and multiple temples. These, and the museums and parks I saw with my host family, were all interesting and beautiful. For me, however, I felt most connected to the city when on my short morning commute to class, after my shushu (uncle) had dropped me off on his way to work. I would buy two hard-boiled eggs (something I had never really enjoyed in America but are prepared differently here and taste delicious), and walk slowly up the network of small side streets, passing women in suits rushing to catch their bus, groups of girls and boys laughing in line for baozi (Chinese buns with various fillings), and dodging the constant stream of speeding motorcycles. I was usually early, so I would sit on the stoop of my favorite fruit vendors' shop and finish my eggs while people-watching and waiting for the shop to open at 7:30. Sometimes one of my groupmates would wander by and would join me, but mostly I waited alone, letting the rushing people and cars around me blend into a comforting blur.
    [post_title] => Leaving Kunming and Beijing
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

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Leaving Kunming and Beijing

grace,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

Two days ago we said goodbye to Kunming – for me, it meant leaving more than just another Chinese city. In ten days Kunming had transformed from a terrifying web of crowded public transit and noisy vendors to a home. This home was not just limited to the apartment of my homestay family, or the […]

Posted On

07/26/16

Author

grace

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    [post_content] => Hey everyone! You are reading the last field note from the X-phase. We are currently on the bus headed to the Great Wall for transference where we will get some closure and wrap up the journey. We had quite a morning. We got to sleep in until 8:00 so we started off in good spirits. We packed up quickly, grabbed breakfast, missed our bus, but eventually made it to our location. Where you ask? Why a Tibetan Buddhist temple of course! We all were awestruck walking in at the detailed art on the ceilings and walls. We drank tea and then learned how to pray in a Buddhist temple. then we learned some history about Buddhism in China and participated in a walking meditation. All of this was very enriching and everyone seemed to really enjoy the experience. The different styles of Buddhist art we saw were some of the most beautiful murals I've ever seen (not exaggerating). Now all of us are feeling some bitter-sweet emotions and excited for the last few days of our journey.

Catch you on the flip side,

Talia

 
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

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Goodbye Beijing

talia and the group,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

Hey everyone! You are reading the last field note from the X-phase. We are currently on the bus headed to the Great Wall for transference where we will get some closure and wrap up the journey. We had quite a morning. We got to sleep in until 8:00 so we started off in good spirits. […]

Posted On

07/26/16

Author

talia and the group

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    [post_content] => Today was a very long, eventful day! It started off with an early breakfast and then we headed to Tiananmen square! It was awfully hot and a little too crowded for my taste but we had a great lesson about the square and it was very meaningful and interesting to be there. then, we split into 2 groups. one group went to the Forbidden City and the other checked out the 798 art district. both are very famous and intriguing parts of Beijing. we all met up once again at the silk market and had a great time bargaining with shop owners to get really good deals on clothes, shoes, and gifts. My personal highlight was watching Ginebra ruthlessly bargain (there were fake tears involved). For dinner we got to have Beijing roast duck which was super yummy. It definitely lived up to our expectations.  Tomorrow we're going to check out a Tibetan Buddhist temple and then head to the Great Wall!

Yours truly,

Talia
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

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the adventure continues….

Talia and the group,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

Today was a very long, eventful day! It started off with an early breakfast and then we headed to Tiananmen square! It was awfully hot and a little too crowded for my taste but we had a great lesson about the square and it was very meaningful and interesting to be there. then, we split […]

Posted On

07/26/16

Author

Talia and the group

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-26 12:38:41
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    [post_content] => Hello everyone! This is Talia and I will be serving you all as our group's "journalist" so you'll be hearing from me a few times during our Beijing experience. This part of our course is called the "X-phase" which means we plan all of our activities, arrange meals, figure out transportation, etc. without our instructors helping.  After a few stressful hours of planning this week we were finally ready to head to China's capital. When we landed today, we all exited the airport filled with energy and excitement. Towards the end of our bus ride to our hostel it started to rain lightly. As we stepped off the bus, it turned into a complete downpour with gusty winds and lightning. we had no choice but to run through the storm to find shelter. We all got soaked in the process and once we got over the fact that some of our stuff might be  wet, we actually had SO much fun running around through the rain. we finally found our hostel and got dry/warm and left for a delicious noodle dinner. This rain storm was a nice welcome from Beijing and left us feeling refreshed and renewed for our final journey tomorrow. Stay tuned guys! More updates coming tomorrow as we embark on some interesting activities in the city.

ps: sorry for any lack of capital letters this ipad is pretty hard to type on
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SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

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beijing huan ying ni

Talia and the group,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

Hello everyone! This is Talia and I will be serving you all as our group’s “journalist” so you’ll be hearing from me a few times during our Beijing experience. This part of our course is called the “X-phase” which means we plan all of our activities, arrange meals, figure out transportation, etc. without our instructors […]

Posted On

07/26/16

Author

Talia and the group

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    [post_date] => 2016-07-26 12:29:10
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    [post_content] => Hello Language 4 Friends and Family!

I'm Benjy Renton — an alum of the Language 6-Week program with Dragons last summer and currently living in Beijing this summer.

On Sunday night, I got to meet up with this wonderful Language 4 group during their one-day stay in Beijing. We went to one of my favorite duck places, Li Qun (利群) for a delicious meal of Peking Duck, nuts, vegetables and other authentic Beijing dishes. As you can see from the pictures, it's quite a "hole in the wall," with many locals sitting around us and the ducks hanging in a line as you walk in.

After a great dinner, I headed back to the hostel with the group, and here's where the situation got interesting. About half of the group boarded the subway when someone shouted, "Wait, we forgot Sam in the station!" Even after Grace trying multiple times to pry open the subway door, it was too late and the group was divided, with me and a few others still on the platform. After finally getting on the next train and arriving at the hostel, the group came out with a cake and started singing, as it was my birthday and they surprised me with a cake. It turns out that Sam had actually not entered the station and instead went to pick up the cake! He sat in the front of the subway and quickly rushed out so I wouldn't see him.

It was so amazing to be able to spend my birthday with this Dragons group, and they pulled off quite the surprise! Thank you to Tom, Talia, Charles, Charlie, Sam, Sammy, Harrison, Graham, Emanuela, Elizabeth, Kyra, Ginebra, Grace, Luke, Joel and Shuier!

Wishing you all a safe trip home,

Benjy
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View post

A Peking Duck Surprise

Benjy Renton,SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week

Description

Hello Language 4 Friends and Family! I’m Benjy Renton — an alum of the Language 6-Week program with Dragons last summer and currently living in Beijing this summer. On Sunday night, I got to meet up with this wonderful Language 4 group during their one-day stay in Beijing. We went to one of my favorite […]

Posted On

07/26/16

Author

Benjy Renton

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