New Opportunities Fuel Evolution of China Studies at WAB

Article by Grade 10 World of Work Intern Nicole

The unique challenges of the 2020/21 school year created an opportunity for WAB's China Studies Department to create new experiences for students to engage with our host country's culture and history. 

“It is about learning in China, learning through China and learning about China and using China as a learning platform and rich resource to enrich the school curriculum.”  Wenjing Wang, WAB's Head of China Studies said.  

This 8-page document from WAB's China Studies Department is a comprehensive list of the different ways in which WAB students had the opportunity to engage with our host country. 

Favorite experiences each year are the annual China Studies Trips and field trips. Restrictions related to travel and public spaces meant trips for Middle and High School students would take place in Beijing.

Changes to the structure of the program, including giving High School students the ability to choose their experiences each day as well as enhanced integration of China Studies into the academic subjects, created more opportunities to connect  the curriculum with Chinese history, language, geography, architecture, art, nature, theater, athletics, education, community, and cuisine.

“WAB has opened my eyes to many world issues and helped me think about what I can do about them,” Grade 10 student Nicole T. said. “Having the opportunity to know about China and Chinese people has changed my perspective on my own culture and on Chinese culture.”

In the Middle School this year, science students visited China's Natural History Museum and explored ecology in Beijing's Olympic Forest Park. A trip in the High School this year gave students the opportunity to visit a self-sustaining community farm and learn about community, agriculture, and economics.  

The trip was not only a favorite among students, but also the teachers who chaperoned.

“I personally enjoy every bit of the trips. The things that come to mind now are when we were coming out of the National Museum and the students were running down the ramp,” Grade 9 Teacher Gonzalo Cabrera said. “They were all happy and having a great time. I loved that. I also liked the visits the farm and village trip, when we saw the tractor train we all loved it and couldn’t wait to get on!”

The trip “Food is Heaven” introduced students to Frank Sun, an anthropologist and chef who taught them Chinese history and cuisine. Thanks to WAB's long-term relationships as well as newly established partnerships with many groups and organizations around Beijing, students took bike city-wide tours, climbed the Great Wall, visited museums, learned from community farmers, and visited China's ancient architectural areas, among many other experiences. 

“This year has had a lot more variety. We got to pick and choose what we wanted to do throughout the week,” Grade 9 student Stella D. said. “I had never been to the hutongs at Qianmen. It was nice walking around and learning about the different history while spending time with friends.”

For more information on how students at WAB are integrated with China, check out our Experience page