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From the classroom to China: teachers’ trip to Xiamen and Beijing

15 April 2024

Trip participants visiting the Great Wall of China outside Beijing
Trip participants visiting the Great Wall of China outside Beijing

Primary and secondary school teachers from the UK, in collaboration with Cardiff Confucius Institute, embarked on a 10-day trip to China last autumn, providing an opportunity for teachers to see China, experience its culture, and build new relationships with Chinese schools.

Cardiff Confucius Institute, with its partner university Xiamen University, arranged for 11 people to visit China last November. Teachers came from schools across the UK including Monmouth Comprehensive School, Sully Primary School, and St. Cyres School in Penarth. The trip was a collaboration with another of Xiamen University’s UK partner Confucius Institutes at the University of Southampton, and funded by the Center for Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC).

The participants spent the first 7 days in South China’s Xiamen city, enjoying a variety of activities and school visits which were an opportunity to experience lessons and meet students and teachers. They were welcomed at Xiamen University where they met teachers, toured the university, attended classes and lectures, and learned about Chinese tea. In addition, they took part in cultural activities, visiting a Traditional Chinese Medicine hospital, traditional Chinese tea house and Nanputuo Temple. The trip concluded with a three-day visit to Beijing, where the group experienced the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.

Teachers in front of the Summer Palace in Beijing
Teachers visit the Summer Palace in Beijing

One of the teachers shared their experience: “I loved every part of the trip. Every day was a new experience and was extremely well planned. The guides and volunteers were excellent and worked really hard to ensure that our visit was the best it could be. I loved the variety of experiences - schools, cultural visits, hospital, places of interest etc. The group that we were travelling with were amazing and made the trip extra special. We spent the whole time laughing and sharing experiences that we will never experience again in our lifetimes.”

The trip was also an opportunity to further strengthen Cardiff University’s relationship and collaboration with Xiang'an Experimental School with the aim of providing language and culture exchange between pupils from schools who work with Cardiff Confucius Institute.

One teacher noted the highlight of the school experience: “Visiting the Experimental School and being able to speak with the students, staff and get involved in activities/clubs and lessons. [This] was a really fantastic experience. I don't think you can ever get an accurate view of education/schools without speaking to the pupils, and their knowledge, willingness to try and engage, and enthusiasm were humbling - my students could learn a lot from a trip like this.”

The group take part in a Lion Dance at Xiang'an Experimental School in Xiamen
The group take part in a Lion Dance at Xiang'an Experimental School in Xiamen

Hear from Vicky Ucele, Wales China Schools Project Manager, speaking about the benefits of the trip, why teachers might be interested in participating and how to get involved.

Cardiff Confucius Institute would like to host a trip in 2025. For teachers interested in taking part, please email for more information.

Teachers can also sign up to our Mandarin for Teachers and Introduction to China & Chinese culture courses, which are open to all teachers in Wales. Discover more and book your place.

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