An interview with Sandymoor Head Girl: Amelia

Amelia was one of twenty students from Sandymoor School who visited their sister school Wenzhou No.2 Experimental Middle School in March this year, as part of a three-year project organised through True Education Partnerships. We caught up with Sandymoor’s Head Girl year 10 student Amelia to find out about her recent trip to China and how it has changed her long-term aspirations.

Why was it that you wanted to go to China?

I really wanted to go to China to experience the culture across the world because I’m really interested in travelling the world and meeting new people.

What would you say that you’ve learned from your trip to China?
Sandymoor Head Girl

Sandymoor Head Girl

I think that I’ve learnt that I want to study a language for further education because I really want to be able to speak to people and travel around the world.

How did the Chinese school differ from your own school?

It was a lot bigger than here and the hours are a lot longer. I feel it’s a lot more relaxed there because they don’t ring a big bell for the end of break but instead, they play nice music and have a massive outdoor area. At the school we played some games and ping pong matches with the Chinese students at break.

Did you feel that the kind of sports and hands on activities that you did with the school were more effective than classroom-based activities?

I think that it’s good to have time to relax over there because of the amount of work they do. It’s really nice that they get to do some more vocational subjects for example they do first aid for lessons over there.

Did you enjoy your time in China and in the Chinese school?

I absolutely loved going to China because the people over there were so welcoming. They all wanted to be your friend and even when you got back, they were all messaging you on WeChat wanting to be your friend it was really good.

How was the food culture and overall experience of being in China?

The food was amazing because we went to these really good restaurants and you got to pick what you ate so you could try anything. The culture is so different to over here but it’s really good.

How did you convince your parents to let you go to China?
Sandymoor Trip to China March 2019

Sandymoor Trip to China March 2019

I think that it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I was never going to get again because you can go to China when you’re older and visit Shanghai but you can’t go into a Chinese school and go to lessons and experience what it’s like to be a student over there.

Do you think given that you’ve now been to China, would you say that you would travel back when you’re older?

Yes of course I really want to go back and even my brother now really wants to go on the China trip in a few years time as well.

Do you feel the trip to China has changed your long-term aspirations?

It’s made me want to travel the world more and go to different places that I used to think I’d like to just stay in England. I’d like to see different areas not just the rich areas but places in poverty as well.

Would you say that visiting China has changed how you think about it?

Obviously when you think of China there’s two extremes, there’s the ancient side of China and then there’s the big buildings in Shanghai. I think that it lived up to my expectations of being massive skyscrapers, but you can travel for 10 minutes out of the city and come to a lovely little water village that has ancient buildings. I enjoyed the sedate side like the gardens as they were really pretty and you could see all the ancient calligraphy.