Six students from around the region were given the opportunity to experience life as a student in one of Nelsons sister cities, Yangjiang, in Guangdong Province, China.
A few weeks ago the weary travellers flew home, after spending 10 days absorbing themselves in the Chinese culture. Their trip was jam-packed with activities and experiences, with one of the students, Meila Gillam, even being interviewed by a Chinese television station.
With a lot of apps like Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram banned in China, students have been keeping in touch with family and organisers through WeChat, a Chinese multi-purpose messaging and social media app, posting regular photos and updates. The students had to each perform a showpiece of items, including musical and theatre pieces, to their hosts. Jane and Ian Lister, organisers and chaperones for the trip, commented that the Nelson parents should be so proud of their sons and daughters, saying that “the kids presented themselves with pride and confidence. The trip has exceeded our expectations in every way. Our NZ students threw themselves with vigour into every activity, ranging from lion dancing to martial arts, and calligraphy to dumpling making. The Liangyang High school students greatly appreciated the opportunities to converse in English and all the students enjoyed sharing aspects of their culture and daily life. The success of the exchange has helped to cement the bonds of friendship and understanding between Nelson and Yangliang and we would love to have more exchanges in the future.” Gavin Yu He Gao, LYHS deputy party secretary, thanked his NZ visitors for their concert and says, “I will miss you all. Your stay here will be the most unforgettable moment of my life.” Bill Findlater, executive advisor China business for Nelson Regional Division Agency, congratulated the students on their representation of Nelson, saying they are ”a credit to Nelson. Its tremendous to see the warmth of your interactions.” The students held a presentation of their trip at Founders Park on May 18.

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