China beckons to students for spring break

Mary Musilek

In 2007 students traveled down the Nile River in Egypt; in 2008 students worked at an orphanage in Ghana West Africa; and now in 2009, BSM students will have the opportunity to climb the Great Wall, tour the Forbidden City, and experience the culture of China during their spring break. From March 25 to April 2, Ms. Lidibette Rosado-Guzman and Ms. Megan Kern will be leading a group of students to Xi’an, Beijing, and Shanghai, China.

The idea of going to China over spring break was given to Ms. Guzman and Ms. Kern by Mr. Nils Heymann, the former diversity director at BSM, and then the idea was approved by the administration, said Ms. Guzman. “I have always been intrigued by the Chinese culture, and exposure of China during the Olympics got people interested, myself included,” said Ms. Guzman. The group will be guided by an educational travel organization, NETC.

The trip is limited to 20 students and spots are reserved on a first come first serve basis. “We still have open spaces if anyone wants to join us,” said Ms. Guzman. Going on the trip can also earn students one half-credit as long as they complete the small project that the teachers assign.

According to the travel itinerary, the group will first travel to Beijing, China’s capital city. Their experience will start with a walk along the Great Wall and a look at the Ming Tombs. Throughout their time in Beijing, the group will go to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace and a will experience a night at the Peking Opera. “Our accommodations are hotels in the cities we are visiting, and we will be eating at restaurants in the city and will experience the multi-ethnic culture China has to offer,” said Ms. Guzman.

Xi’an is the next stop on the trip. BSM students will experience the eighth wonder of the world, the Terra-cotta Warriors.

The tour will then lead them to Xi’an Bell Tower, Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter, and finally to a Chinese school where BSM students will have an opportunity to experience schooling in a different country.

The last city that the group will visit is Shanghai. They will spend time sightseeing in the city and will conclude their trip with an acrobatic show. “ACS has gone to China twice and even though they haven’t had the opportunity to travel as much, they have been quite excited about their opportunity, so we are hoping kids will be excited about this opportunity,” said Ms. Guzman.

Though some people have expressed concerns whether China is a safe destination to be visiting at this time, Ms Guzman is optimistic. “Even though there was a violent incident to a member of our community during the Olympics, I have been reassured by the company we are traveling with and by BSM alumni that have traveled to China, that it is a very safe country and acts of violence are random and rarely happen,” said Ms. Guzman.