Shanghai Express: Ninth Graders Visit Dwight in China
Shanghai Express: Ninth Graders Visit Dwight in China

"This Dwight trip to Shanghai exceeded my expectations throughout the entire journey. The various activities opened my eyes to parts of a culture that I had not known before ... every day, I learned something new." – Malachy O'Hare

Malachy is one of 19 ninth graders who journeyed to China over spring break for Dwight's second annual exchange program with Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School. He and his classmates reflected on their experiences and returned home with a deeper understanding of another culture, greater insights into the lives of their Dwight peers in China, and one step closer to becoming a global leader.

Dwight's commitment to educating the next generation of global leaders takes shape in numerous ways — through the International Baccalaureate curriculum, through our diverse community of faculty and students hailing from over 40 countries, through our culture of global-mindedness — but perhaps nowhere as immediately and profoundly as it does through exchange programs with Dwight campuses around the world.

From the minute their plane landed in Shanghai, ninth graders – who traveled with their Science Teacher, Roberta Harnett; Director of Music, Alistair Hamilton; and Director of Extra-curricular Programs, Fiona Imboden – were on the go beginning with a night-time tour of the city. The following days were jam-packed with activities in which the rich culture, history, and unique beauty of Shanghai were brought to life. They visited different locales, including Old Water Town, Hangzhou, Puxi, Pudong, and the Former French Concession Area known as the Luwan district; toured the Yu Garden, the Chenghuang and Ling Yin Temples, Green Tree Plantation, Shanghai Tower, museums, and marketplaces. And yes, they even went to Disneyland!

Students had cooking and kungfu lessons, and of course, spent valuable time on campus at Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School, the first independent Chinese-foreign collaborative high school approved by the Ministry of Education in China. From participating in early-morning exercises that are part of the daily routine of students in Shanghai, to attending classes with their buddies, New York students stepped into the shoes of their counterparts to try them on for size. They discovered aspects of life and school that they share in common – both inside and outside of the classroom – and forged friendships they will maintain for years to come.

For more about this cross-campus learning and bonding experience, we leave it to the students themselves:

"I enjoyed the coding class and how different it is in the US...and really enjoyed introducing SQDHS to some websites for research and giving an American perspective to students in English class." – Pepe Valles Fons

"A trip like this made me get out of my comfort zone and really get to know people who I didn't really know before. I made friends ... and it was a great cultural experience as well as a bonding experience that I hope still goes on when I get back to NY." – Carlota Bustos

"Going to the school has helped me understand and connect with people around the worlds and made me more open-minded. ... I would like to express my gratitude to my teachers, parents, and fellow classmates for making this trip possible and very enjoyable." – Amana Bhumitra

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