Foundation Collegiate Academy Travel Club Visits China on Spring Break
Over the years, studies have consistently shown that international travel and study abroad have a multitude of positive benefits for students. According to a survey conducted by the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) about the benefits of studying abroad:
- 97% of respondents felt the experience served as a stimulant for increased maturity,
- 96% reported a significant increase in self-confidence,
- 98% said the experience helped them to better understand their own cultural values and biases, and
- 95% felt the experience had a lasting impact on their perception of the world.
Armed with a week of available travel time and these end results in mind, this April, our Foundation Collegiate Academy travel club put together a plan to introduce our high school students to a region of the world and a culture with which they had no prior experience. The result was a plan of epic proportions: a Spring Break cultural immersion trip to China.
Our students’ agenda was stacked: visiting historic Chinese landmarks, experiencing the arts, participating in cultural activities, tasting regional cuisine, and of course, meeting and interacting with local students and families along the way.
Once they returned, we had the opportunity to speak with a few of the students and a chaperone about their experience. Here’s what they had to say:
“My favorite thing about the trip to China was the culture: I learned how the people of China live, and how different it is. I’d recommend a trip like this for future classes because it was amazing and very informative. If I could do it again, I’d stay longer!”
– Gabriel Marin (10th Grade)
“My favorite thing about the trip to China was the trip to the school – it was really fun! I enjoyed the trip overall. The most important thing I learned was a sense of responsibility, money sense, and how diverse the world is. The world is way bigger than you’d expect and there is a lot unknown to me. I would recommend an international trip for future classes because there are various points of views or beliefs that differ than the ones here in America. Cultures in outside countries display how diverse the world is and how everyone is vastly different from each other. This would help students become more open to ideas.”
– Crystal Aguero (10th Grade)
“My favorite thing about the trip to China was being able to experience the other side of the world and seeing how different their way of life is. The Chinese way of life is different and we shouldn’t be quick to judge that which is different. I would 100% recommend this trip for future classes because it was a worthwhile experience. If I could do it again, I would have brought more money to bring back souvenirs and tea.”
– Elmer Sobalbarro Umana (12th Grade)
“I learned that the Chinese people are EXTREMELY hardworking. The students we met at the local elementary school were so kind and diligent in their ways. I also learned that there is so much pride for their country and passion for making their country a better place. Would I recommend an international trip for future classes? Absolutely. It was phenomenal to experience another culture. This trip had such an impact on students in terms of inclusiveness and learning about how to navigate cultural scenarios that they have not experienced before.”
– Alex Davies, FCA Teacher and Trip Chaperone
Based on that feedback, we think it’s safe to say that the trip was a success, and is another testament to the benefits of student travel.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t thank the FCA staff and chaperones for their hard work organizing this trip, as well as thank the generous donors who helped make this trip possible for our students. We appreciate you!
Now that this trip is in the books, we’re already looking forward to planning our students’ next big travel adventure.
Where will we go next?
China Trip Photo Gallery
Special thanks to chaperones Alex Davies and Andrew DeLuise for the photos!
Michelle Lawlor, Marketing and Communications Associate, spearheads Foundation Academies’ marketing and communication efforts. Born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey, Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Multimedia Communications from Rider University.