Delegation of College Students in China

Within the framework of the College’s cultural – educational collaboration with schools in China, a delegation of twenty 10th grade High School students, who were selected based on academic criteria, visited China from April 19th to April 29th, 2017 where they were hosted by the “Tianjin Nankai High School.” They were accompanied by Athens College teachers, Mr. Th. Grammatikopoulos and M. I. Koulas, and Psychico College teachers, Ms. M.-Z. Petropoulou and Mr. V. Vouvonikos.  Our school’s visit was in reciprocation for the visit paid by the Chinese school to Greece further to an invitation they received from the College.


On the day of our School delegation’s arrival at Tianjin, they received a cordial welcome by Mr. Sun Hailin, President of the Board of Directors of “Tianjin Nankai High School.”  In his address, Mr. Hailin emphasized the strong cultural ties shared by Greece and China, as well as the importance both countries place on the education of their youth.  On behalf of the College, Athens College teacher Mr. I. Grammatikopoulos thanked Mr. Hailin for the reception. This was followed by an exchange of commemorative gifts.  

The next day a welcoming ceremony was held in the “Tianjin Nankai High School” theater where Mr. Qingmin Zhang, Director of the school’s International Division, warmly received our delegation.  On behalf of the College, Psychico College teacher Maria-Zoe Petropoulou thanked the representatives of the Chinese school for their hospitality and in her speech directed attention to the elements that have linked our two cultures over the centuries.  During the event that followed, which was carried out under the supervision of the chaperone-teachers, students from our School presented two videos on Greece and the College, respectively.  They then read poems by C.C. Cavafy and G. Seferis, and touched upon the main features of the poets’ works. Their presentation ended with a performance of Greek folk dances.  The ceremony then concluded with a music and dance program by the students of “Tianjin Nankai High School,” based on their folk traditions.


In
the first week of the visit to Tianjin, College student attended classes in Chinese calligraphy, Chinese art, Chinese language lessons, as well as Taiji experiential classes, which Chinese students also attended and which were especially organized for our delegation.  During the morning flag raising ceremony at the Chinese school, Mr. Qingmin Zhang, Director of the International Division, introduced our School’s delegation to the local students.  Two of our students then addressed a short greeting to their hosts, to which a Chinese schoolgirl reciprocated.


Among other things, the College delegation visited the Tianjin City Museum which exhibits artifacts spanning from early to modern Chinese history, as well as the Museum of Natural History.  Additionally, during a cruise along the Haihe River, they had an opportunity to admire very interesting places in the city.  Last, but not least, they visited the headquarters of Cosco at the city port where crew members from one of the ships described to our students the cargo handling process at one of the world’s largest commercial transit points.

During the three final days of their field trip, the School’s delegation stayed in Beijing where they enjoyed guided tours of the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the National Museum, the Olympic Park, and the unique Temple of Confucius. Our students and teachers also attended a Chinese opera performance, a very interesting visual and audio spectacle.

The visit to China was both a rich and constructive experience for our students.  On the one hand they had a fruitful exchange with their Chinese peers, sharing a variety of activities with them.  On the other hand, they saw and experienced aspects of China’s history and culture.