An Incredible Trip to China over Spring Break!

During Hopkins' March Spring Break, 31 Hopkins students embarked on a journey to mainland China and Taipei accompanied by their four teachers: Ms. Lin, Ms. Li, Ms. Ran, and Mr. Smith. The trip was both fun and educational, offering eye-opening experiences as we explored four cities: Beijing, Xi’an, Changsha, and Taipei.

In Beijing, the group was captivated by The Forbidden City, an enduring symbol of Imperial China. They marveled at its expansive architecture, magnificent imperial gardens, and numerous museums housing Chinese antiquities and treasures. Climbing the Great Wall gave the group dramatic vistas, and they marveled at its winding path over steep ridges and narrow valleys. Additionally, they visited the Beijing Temple of Heaven, where emperors traditionally prayed for a good harvest twice a year.

In Xi’an, the group embarked on a tour of the over 2,000-year-old Terra Cotta Warriors and visited a terra cotta factory to learn about their creation. Later, students enjoyed bicycling atop the Old City Wall and honed their bargaining skills with vendors at the local bazaar. Of course, the highlight was the delightful dumpling banquet enjoyed by all!

In Taipei, the trip's itinerary included a city tour featuring Liberty Square, the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, and a visit to the iconic Taipei 101. They indulged in lunch at the renowned Ding Tai Fung Dim Sum Restaurant before exploring the Xi Men Ding area, including Mongka, Bopxiliao Old Street, The Red House, and Longshan Taoist Temple. In the evening, they sampled delectable street food at the night market.

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting Hopkins' sister school, Yali Peicui Middle School in Changsha. Hopkins students visited classes, engaged with local students, and participated in activities such as calligraphy and bamboo weaving art. Our students also enjoyed visiting a Cultural Center in Changsha, where they experienced a Chinese Tea Ceremony and honed their skills in old-mode painting.

As part of our cultural exchange with the students at Yali Peicui, artwork from each school was gifted to the other as a show of gratitude.  From Hopkins, a painting by freshman artist Jade-Logan Bohn was selected to represent our school, opening up the door for future artistic collaborations. Jade’s painting was accepted by Party Secretary Yuan and will be displayed at the new Yali Peicui campus in Changsha.  In addition to the artwork, sophomore Nia McKeithen performed an original song and accompanying dance at the exchange ceremony, and members of the Concert Choir sang Auld Lang Syne in both English and Chinese, accompanied by Silas Resch on the guitar.  Students from Yali’s choir and orchestra also performed for Hopkins, demonstrating the individual talent and immense dedication their students have for the arts. 

In Changsha, Hopkins students also had the opportunity to meet three Yale-China Fellows at Yali High School. Julia Arancio, Kate Rosenberg, and Anna Tran are collaborating with Yali faculty to teach Spoken English to Senior 1 students. Beyond their teaching duties, they lead a variety of extracurricular activities, including an annual English musical, and work on enhancing their Chinese language proficiency. The Fellows shared insights into their life and work in Changsha with the Hopkins students, who eagerly asked questions and engaged in discussions.

Throughout the trip, the group savored delicious cuisine, including Beijing Duck, Haidilao Hot Pot, Dumpling Banquet, soup dumplings at Ding Tai Feng, and much more. Embracing the local culture, everyone adeptly used chopsticks, becoming experts by the trip's end.

Click here to view more photos from the China trip.

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Hopkins is a private middle school and high school for grades 7-12. Located on a campus overlooking New Haven, CT, the School takes pride in its intellectually curious students as well as its dedicated faculty and staff.