Mandarin Chinese Language Students Put Skills to the Test

Twelve Salesians Take In the Sites 3,000 Miles From Home


Pictured left to right, Greg Weidner ‘20, Rory Hoban ‘20, Michael Hayes ‘19, Keiran Monahan ‘19, Jason Clausing ‘19, Alec Troy ‘19

Matthew Skorup ‘19, Contributer

A honking horn ushers you out of the street as cars flood by.  This may conjure up images of New York City for most, but for some students this may bring back memories of the streets of Beijing or Shanghai. Over the summer, 9 Salesians accompanied by Mr. Allegri and Ms. Goble had the opportunity to travel throughout China for twelve days. They visited many destinations, among which were Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. I was able to sit down and talk to some of the students as well as Ms. Goble, to get their impression of the trip.

The students enjoyed scenic vistas of Shanghai at night, the mountains at Yangshuo, and taking a stroll through time along the Great Wall of China.  Jason Clausing ‘19 added, “My favorite part was when we went to the Great Wall. It was a wonderful experience, walking with my friends along the wall listening to Sweet Home Alabama.”  Another favorite was the city of Xian, where the students were able to see the many terracotta warriors in the Qin emperor’s tomb.

Aside from the different sites, the group also experienced the differences from American culture present in China.  From different traffic laws, such as pedestrians not having the right of way, to biang biang noodles, a long thick noodle mixed with vegetables and chili oil, they experienced it all.  When asked about what he learned from Chinese culture, Alec Troy ‘19 remarked, “The other side of the world is very different. When you were walking down the street vendors would come right up to you and get in your face. There were a lot of one to one interactions.”  Students were able to experience the vibrant social culture in China, with a unique nightlife and the emphasis on family style dining. When asked about her favorite part of the trip Ms. Gobels shared, “I liked watching the students experience everything and seeing how different China is.”  

Whether you like scenic mountain vistas or the bustling streets of Beijing, China has something for everybody.  Through traveling to China the students had their eyes open to new culture and food. All the students said that this trip has excited them for traveling in the future. Maybe some of them will even sign up for the upcoming Australia and New Zealand trip.  Through seeing the cultures of other countries, we can better understand our own.