LIMA — The Chinese course 14 Lima Senior High School students are taking is all about total immersion, but that’s nothing compared to the opportunity they could have next June.
The Progressive Academy students, learning Mandarin Chinese through interactive video conferencing, will soon be out raising money for a 10-day trip to China.
“This will be the ultimate immersion lesson,” said Kathy Lewis, Lima Senior’s head of library/media.
The students will join others from 22 schools enrolled in the class. Their teacher, who last week visited Lima Senior, is a native of China. She is organizing the trip.
This is the first year the Lima Senior students have taken the class, but they will continue until they graduate. Students are enthusiastic about the class, and even more so about the trip.
“I think it is going to be a really good learning experience and it will be really fun,” sophomore Hope Wessel said. “We’ll get to learn more about their culture.”
“I want to major in languages, so I feel like this is going to give me the upper hand,” sophomore DarQuavious Brown added.
Students will spend time in both Beijing and Shanghai. They will visit places like the Great Wall, The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Shanghai Art Museum and the Peking Opera. Much time will be in classes learning the language, Kong-fu, Chinese painting, and kite making.
“The trip is very educationally focused,” Lewis said.
The students will need about $3,000 for the trip. This includes the $2,655 basic cost for airfare, sightseeing, educational visits, accommodations and most meals. Students will also need to cover the costs of passports, Visas and spending money.
Students are looking for donations and will focus their fundraising efforts on area businesses with international connections. Lewis sees it as an investment for companies.
“They will be helping future employees learn the language they are going to need,” she said.
Varying sponsorship levels are available, including sponsoring the whole trip for a student for $3,000, a student for three days for $900, or a Visa for $155. For information, call Lewis at 419-996-3519 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.