When Scholars Academy AP European History, AP American Government, Economics, and Peer Leadership instructor Farran Burnette wasn’t busy teaching, she spent her time planning a trip for eight students to engage in a global travel experience to China.
Burnette said, "I love creating opportunities for students to explore other cultures and evaluate the way they perceive the world. Getting the kids outside of the classroom and into the real world is so much fun!"
Burnette and all of the students stated how actually going to China helped them to see the realities rather than stereotypes.
Because Burnette is an economics teacher, she was interested to see what a command economy looked like in real life.
“I thought it would be more economically advanced,” said Burnette.
Dane Dyksterhouse said that traveling to a different country was eye-opening and opened his mind to a new environment that changed his perspective of the world.
“Seeing a different way of life made me value what I have," said Dyksterhouse.
Dyksterhouse’s response is the reason Burnette said that she would love to offer a travel experience each year.
Although most of the students and the chaperones had traveled a lot before, China was never one of the places they had been.
“I chose some of the main sights to see in China…some of the main wonders,” said Burnette.
While on the trip, students did a bundle of activities including walking the Great Wall, going to the Tangbo Art Museum, and doing calligraphy.
Jenna Long excitedly expressed how much she enjoyed one of the activities.
“I really liked seeing the Terracotta Warriors statues. It’s really cool to see something that has been there for over 2,000 years. They were way bigger than I thought,” said Long.
Although the overall experience was very nice, the group did express some of their frights about going on the trip. Naturally people have some fears when they travel, whether it’s to just another state or western-culture country. Traveling to an entire other continent definitely sparked some uneasiness in some of the students and the teacher.
“I feared people randomly coming up to me and taking pictures,” said Heaven Robinson. Robinson reported that she was photographed, but it was mainly by little children and elderly people.
Dyksterhouse stated that he was a little afraid of the plane ride because it was 13 hours long, and he had also heard that China had really unclean air.
Long said that she feared sanitary issues in China.
“I heard about how dirty everything was, like the showers and the drinking water,” said Long.
Long described seeing the some realities as a definite, huge culture shock compared to life in the United States.
The group also experienced a few things that they weren’t necessarily prepared for. They expressed that they heat caught them off guard as well as the unusual food options.
Although there were some unexpected turns in the voyage, overall it was a complete success.