How Do Chinese Students Spend Their Summer Vacation?

by NYC Firm Schools Blog AdConnect on June 27, 2014

This post is from the NYC Firm Schools Blog AdConnect Platform.


Kids today are not just competing with the students sitting next to them in a classroom, nor even other students around New York or the rest of the country. Today, American students are competing with their peers around the world. Many of these international students are now coming directly to the US for their education. They are probably in your child’s classroom, especially as going to high school abroad is becoming quite popular.

Students are expected to be busy studying during summer vacation

As the spring semester is coming to an end, let’s see how some Chinese students, who are the number one source of international students for the US, spend their summer vacation. Angela and Yining, who are both MA candidates at Teachers College-Columbia University, from Sara’s Homestay would like to share their experience on how they spent their summer vacation when they were in high school in China.

“I went on a school trip to Japan when I was in Grade 9. During the 10-day trip, we went sightseeing, shopping, visited local middle school, and stayed with host family. It was my first time going abroad with a group of teachers and schoolmates, which really broadened my horizon and enhanced the friendship between my schoolmates and me.

“Once I entered high school, my life became pretty academic-focused, with less leisure time. During summer, I spent a large amount of time trying to improve my Mathematics and Physics, either in private school or with private tutor at home.

“In the second year of my high school (11th Grade), my summer vacation was shortened to 2 weeks because the school arranged high-intensity summer classes preparing us for college entrance examination. The 2 week break was filled with tons of homework and the anxiety of falling behind my schoolmates. I did not feel I was on vacation in the environment where everyone had high expectation on me and expected me to stay busy studying.

“It is also stressful for school teachers and parents who view the score of college entrance examination as the major indicator to measure success.”

Er'hu class

Er'hu class

“When I was a teenager, I used to spend half of my summer vacation in all kinds of summer school and half of the time hanging out with friends or traveling.

“As far as I could remember, I took different kinds of summer lessons including academic ones and extracurricular ones. I started learning Olympics Mathematics from primary school and got extraordinary interested in solving these interesting mathematics problems. I took part in Olympics Mathematics competitions inside and outside campus and won several awards. Besides learning academic subjects, I also learnt subjects such as piano, Pipa, sketch, paining, traditional Chinese dancing and other lessons that interested me. I could choose whatever classes that I would like to take during the summer and usually picked up different courses every year. I had great fun with classmates in the hot summer. From the different courses I took, I was able to figure out what I really liked to do in the future.

“Due to the one –child policy in China, most families only have one child at home. If their parents need to work during the summer, it is very likely that children need to be alone at home. Luckily, since my mother has the same vacations as me, we could travel every year. We went to Australia, Korea, Thailand and other places of interest in China. It is a fantastic experience to travel to different places when I was young.”

Sara’s Homestay is an accommodation and student service provider which started operations in 2001. Since the Company’s founding, it has rapidly grown, serving over 10,000+ students per year originating from 40+ different countries. Sara’s is now one of the market leaders in homestay services and accommodations.

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