Harvard College in Asia: 2013 Jiangyin Service Trip
Entering its sixth year of partnership with the Vincent Woo Foundation, the Harvard College in Asia Program is excited to present the 2013 HCAP-Jiangyin Service Trip.
Through the HCAP-Jiangyin Service Trip, two Harvard HCAP members are extended the opportunity to create and teach classes of their design to Chinese students at the primary and secondary levels. Volunteers teach at Nanjing High School and Qiaoqi Elementary School in Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province, about a two hour drive northwest of Shanghai near Wuxi.
Through a series of organized seminars and extracurricular activities, the Service Trip aims to help Chinese students deepen their understanding of American culture and the American education system. Reciprocally, in line with HCAP’s mission of cultural exchange, the Service Trip also aims to help HCAP volunteers deepen their understanding of the Chinese education system, and Chinese culture. This is accomplished through classroom teaching and arranged excursions in and around Jiangyin and Shanghai. And, since 2009, HCAP-Jiangyin members have also acted as judges for the debate team at Nanjing High School.
With the Vincent Woo Foundation as the official sponsor, the HCAP-Jiangyin Service Trip covers accommodations and subsidizes round-trip airfare to and from China in proportion to the students’ financial aid packages at Harvard.
Each year, HCAP recruits two undergraduate students interested in China’s culture, society, and education system. Although knowledge of Chinese Mandarin is helpful, it is not required.
Saturday, March 16 – Sunday, March 24, 2013
4 days at Nanjing High School, Jiangyin (www.njschool.cn)
1 day at Qiaoqi Elementary School, Jiangyin (www.21qx.com)
2 days in Shanghai
“The HCAP Service Trip was a wonderful way to spend my Spring Break. I really enjoyed interacting with students, teaching in their English classes and holding office hours outside of class. Talking with the students was an eye-opening experience because they provide totally different perspectives on many things. They were always very enthusiastic in talking with us and asking us about life in the United States and at Harvard. The Service Trip also gave me an opportunity to visit the developed parts of China such as Shanghai, but also visit rural parts of China that most tourists never see. I would highly recommend this trip for anyone who is interested in visiting or learning more about China.” - Kai Fei, 2011
“I simply loved the trip. For us, it was an opportunity to experience China and life in Chinese high schools and elementary schools. For the students, it was a chance for them to learn about the United States and communicate with people whose experiences were much different from theirs. It gave them an opportunity to break out of their daily routines of studying and taking tests and reflect upon their own lives. I hope that our visit was inspiring for them as well as fun.” – Henry Yin, 2009
“To say the experience was formative drastically reduces the extent to which the trip instilled in me, personally, an appreciation for Chinese culture and a respect for the progress the country has made in the last few decades. On the surface, China seems, no doubt, a shining example for other developing countries. Though it meant I would not see my family or travel with my roommates to Jamaica for our mid-semester break, choosing to travel to China was one of the best decisions I made this year—so I have absolutely no regrets about spending eight days there. I e-mailed my family the last afternoon Henry and I were in China, and I feel that much of what I wrote reflects how I would concisely encapsulate the trip:
‘Right now, I’m in the middle of downtown Shanghai, and my hotel room looks over the entire city—a sea of massive metallic skyscrapers that doesn’t end. This country is truly a testament to rapid, sustainable modernization and to what can happen when a government mobilizes its people effectively.’ ” – Ahmed Mabruk, 2009