BSM plans trip to China

Anna Martin and Anna Martin

While many BSM students will be heading off to Mexico and Florida next spring break, a select few will get the opportunity of a lifetime as they travel to China. The diversity department has decided that next year’s spring break trip will be to Beijing, China, which will give students a chance to experience a different culture.

This trip was chosen because according to Ms. Megan Kern, “there are so many misunderstandings and a lot of things that we don’t know about other cultures, and China is so different.” This is the first trip that BSM has taken to China and the school is excited because it is also the first big trip that is open to everyone in the school. There are only 20 spots available and currently two chaperones, Ms. Kern and Ms. Guzman, but a male chaperone will be added and possibly another female chaperone, depending on the number of students who decide to go on the trip.

The trip will be nine days long and BSM will be using a tour service called the National Educational Travel Council, NETC, which helps with the language barrier and the safety. “There will be a local tour guide with us every day,” said Ms. Kern.

The trip will consist of travel to Beijing and internal trips to Xi’an and Shanghai. In Beijing the group will have the opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China and “take a couple of classes in Chinese martial art–Tai Ji–and Chinese calligraphy,” said Ms. Kern. After a night in Beijing, the group will then take a small flight to Xi’an where they will spend two nights. In Xi’an they will be able to see the famous life-sized Terra-cotta warriers. After some more sightseeing, a few museums and a trip to the Muslim market, the group will then fly to their final destination, Shanghai. There they will visit the People’s Square in the heart of the city, the Shanghi Museum, and do some other cultural activities.

As for safety, neither Ms. Kern and Ms. Guzman are worried. The Olympics will be over and NETC is designed especially for helping students travel to foreign countries. China and the United States have a good relationship, so tourists are accepted. “China has been open to tourism. They have a pretty good handle on how to do things. China and the United States also have a trade agreement,” said Ms. Kern.

This trip is also important because Asian culture is very different from that of the Unites States or even Europe. China has a communist government, so “the students will be able to see how another government functions,” said Ms. Guzman.

Because BSM students will be going into China as tourists, there might not be as much of an opportunity to see what daily life is really like in China. “We know that we will be going to places where we will be visiting as a tourist, so we might not get a real picture of the struggles of the people who live under the regime,” said Ms. Guzman.

The estimated cost of the trip will be from $3,000 to $3,500. This includes the flight to China, all the flights within China, hotel, and food. With the relative low cost of the trip, Ms. Kern and Ms. Guzman are hoping that this will attract more people. “We are hoping with this cost that people will be attracted to that. It’s a good opportunity because we can’t take kids to China all the time,” said Ms. Kern.