WKU Ed.D Student
During the WKU Confucius Institute trip abroad we learned about the language and culture of China. When we were not studying and learning the Chinese language, we were learning about the people, the history, and China’s current worldly status. I enjoyed learning the basics of the Chinese language and Pin Yin. The language instructor was very effective in her teaching strategies. The language learning sessions were fun, encouraging, and met the needs of the various language abilities represented in our group.
The excursions during our stay were definitely one of the more enjoyable experiences. However, there were a couple outings that did not meet my expectations. It is my suggestion for future groups to not visit The Great Wall of China and the Summer Palace in the same day. While both are great experiences, it was very strenuous on group members to have stopped at the jade manufacturing company, climb the Great Wall, and then proceed to the Summer Palace. Also, when visiting the 2008 Olympic sites, there was not a need for a tour guide. Most of the Olympic sites have informative plaques and brochures displayed and are very easy to navigate.
One of my favorite excursions was visiting the Confucius Institute Headquarters. I was important to me to see the institute which gave us the opportunity to have such and experience. The headquarters was enlightening and encouraging. My favorite aspect of the institute was the interactive activities that were available for us. Trying on the opera garments and taking computerized assessments of our knowledge of various language and culture aspects was rewarding and placed value on the knowledge we were getting from our classroom sessions.
I believe that the language and culture classes, free time, and the excursions were well balanced. Overall, this trip was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I would encourage anyone who is interested in learning about another country, culture, and/or language; this is the trip to attend.