About the Host School
The objective of the school is to provide modern, unique, high quality and world-class education to its students; the school educational philosophy is to lay the foundation for the students’ whole life and take responsibility for the future of the nation; the school aims are pursuing excellence, leading the ethos and broadening the mind; the school’s goal for students education is to create all-round development of the students. The school advocates people-oriented, scientific-standard and development-promoted cultural management, continuously explores “self-management, self-education and self-development” moral education, and pursues the theoretical and practical method for merit teaching system in which most effective teaching results could be achieved in the least time.
The school has a lot of modern equipment such as 10Mbps Ethernet and a lap-top for each of its teachers. The modern Sports and Arts Center has a Ping-Pong hall, basketball and volleyball courts, and music, drawing , and dancing studios. The school’s library can accommodate 1400 students.
Since the end of 1980s, the school has been research oriented and experimental in its education. It has been honored for its advanced education system and moral value system. At the beginning of the 21st century, the school has received honors such as the Standard Model School of Jilin Province, the National 5.1 Labor Day Award, School of Traditional Athletics, and Educational Experimental School.
About the A Level & IB Centre
The Changchun Centre opened August 20th, 2011 with 105 students enrolled between the ages of 16 to 18. The Centre boasts state of the art resources such as modern labs equipped with laptops on a lovely picturesque campus.
Life can be laid back in the young city of Changchun, the city of "Eternal Spring." The summers are pleasantly warm , while the winters, though cold, offer a variety of cold weather sporting options. Transportation is quite cheap, and the city is about 1 1/2 hour flight from Beijing. You can take a break on a day trip to picturesque Moon Lake Forest Park, which covers over 200 square kilometers. Culinary adventrues abound as well- due to the Korean influence, the local cuisine is a fusion of Chinese and Korean food, with some exotic ingredients such as bear paw, deer and snow toad!
Teacher Case Study
John Humphries, Centre Principal
I have been working in International Education since 1989 and been involved with the International Baccalaureate since 1994. In that time I have had many roles, teacher, head of subject, IB Coordinator, Deputy head and Centre Principal. Most of my experience has been away from the UK or Europe and much of it in Africa, this is my first experience of working in China or East Asia. As an Educator I am committed to the IB program as I feel it gives students the best possible preparation for University.
The role of a Centre Principal is twofold to make sure that the teachers have what they need to teach, students what they need to learn and to create and collegiate atmosphere conducive to teaching and learning.
Changchun is a friendly city with less pollution than most cities in China. In the centre the all teachers have their own classrooms and the facilities they need to be effective, such as data projectors or Smart boards and there is a computer network that allows information to be shared amongst staff, amongst students and between staff and students.
We are lucky enough to work on a campus which is on the outskirts of Changchun while living nearby on a small number of compounds. This gives us a camaraderie and togetherness which adds to our well-being. There are basic facilities in the local area and if we require anything more unusual we can travel into town. The local people are friendly and the restaurants are many and varied, while there is a nature park not far away which is pleasant.
Student Case Study
Graeme Eysink, Changchun Shidafuzhong Inteernational Centre
I first started at the International Department of the High School attached to North East Normal University, Changchun, China, in September 2012. At the time I had already been living in China for six months at the time as a South African national. My experience at this school can best be described as an adventure. I am the only foreign student in the international department with roughly 50 Chinese students in my grade (DP2) and about one hundred other students in the lower grades at my school. As I am submerged in a foreign culture with only Chinese students in my school, every day is a new adventure where I can learn more and understand more about a totally new and different culture.
This has benefited me in a massive way as I now have a fairly general understanding of the Chinese language and culture and can interact and relate to the Chinese people. Apart from that, being the only foreign student has made way for some really strong friendships with some of my classmates that have definitely made my time in this school and in China a lot easier and worthwhile. I feel that I have matured a lot throughout the duration of my time in this school. I am a lot more open minded and willing to accept differences in both the environment and people that I interact with. Lunch time at the school is always something special with a new exotic fruit being offered to me on a regular basis and I would have to say that this has definitely contributed to me being more open minded.
However the learning process has been mutual. I won't go as far as saying that the students here have learned as much about me as I have about them but I have taken pride in teaching them about some of the customs and cultures of the West. The students in this school are all very inquisitive and are set on making the best of their high school careers and so I am honored to help them to achieve their goal by being a native speaker in their midst.
When I first arrived at this school most of the students only had a fair understanding of English and my Chinese was by no means up to standard. This made the first few months in this school quite difficult as I felt I could not relate to the students and I was rather lonely. However this did improve over the course of my first year in the school as my Chinese had improved and I could understand some of the norms amongst the students.
There have been some frustrating days, as you would expect in high school. As I am the only native speaker and therefore have a good understanding of the English language, classes have often had to be slowed down and simplified so that all of the students can follow and understand.
Comparing my struggles to my benefits in this school is much like comparing ants and elephants in the sense that the extent to which I have benefited from this school and my experiences here make my troubles look fairly small and insignificant. There are so many things I have learned and been exposed to in this school that I would never have even heard of if I was still in my South African high school that I have run out of fingers to count them with.
As for my plans for university, I plan on returning home to South Africa and enrolling into a medical program with the hopes of becoming a medical practitioner. The health situation in South Africa is very contradictory in the sense that there is extremely good healthcare and extremely poor healthcare. I hope that by becoming a medical practitioner I can contribute towards bridging gap between the two extremes and thereby helping improve the living standards of those in need.