EDISON, NJ - Ten students and two chaperones from The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison spent 10 days in China during Spring Break, visiting W-H sister school Shishi High School in Chengdu and sightseeing in Beijing. Students Stanislav DeLaurentiis of Plainfield, CJ Stueck of Scotch Plains, Dev Dasondi of Edison, Sohum Thakker of Monroe, Kevin Nader of Bernardsville, Victoria Georgiou of Warren, Carlin Schildge of Westfield, Shaun Martinez of Woodbridge, Jennifer Guo of Edison and Aubrey Mackay of North Plainfield joined chaperones Russell Althouse and Yolanda Reyes.
"China was an experience like no other,” Stanislav said. “It allowed me to submerge myself in the language and culture of what I have been studying for the past three years.”
The group arrived in Chengdu on the first weekend of Spring Break and spent three days attending classes with friends they made in January when Shishi students visited Wardlaw-Hartridge. They lived with homestay families during their time in Chengdu. They flew to Beijing and spent the next few days visiting sites such as the Beijing Zoo, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Great Wall, Temple of Heaven and Beijing Capital Museum.
“At first I was hesitant to participate in the China exchange program, but after having spent ten days during spring break immersed in the Chinese culture – trying their foods, talking to local people, and partaking in their daily activities – I now realize it was one of the best experiences of my high school career,” Kevin said. “I learned so much, not only about the customs and values of the Chinese people, but about how important it is to experience something outside of what's familiar. For anyone considering an exchange program, I highly recommend it.”