From Red Deer to China

They whet their appetites learning the Mandarin language, now 29 Hunting Hills High School students are about to get a taste of Chinese culture as they embark on a 12-day trip to Beijing and beyond.

With Chase Lajeunesse looking on Quinlan Brown counts through his 500 Yuan about $86 Canadian he will be taking with him to China during a Hunting Hills High School trip over Spring Break. The class is also taking along food items to give to people in China.

They whet their appetites learning the Mandarin language, now 29 Hunting Hills High School students are about to get a taste of Chinese culture as they embark on a 12-day trip to Beijing and beyond.

Grade 12 students Emilea Clinton and Devin Ouellette are especially anticipating the March 30 departure, since both hope to start their post-secondary education at Chinese universities next year.

Clinton said she’s been interested in China’s pop culture, music and literature for several years now; “I’m hoping to get a major cultural experience somewhere completely different, where I’ve never been before.”

Ouellette, who spent 11 months as a Rotary Club exchange student in Taiwan last year, wants to compare that adventure to being in mainland China.

“Taiwan is a democracy and China has a communist government, so I’m interested in seeing how that affects people’s lives,” he added.

Ouellette and Clinton, who are applying for Chinese university scholarships, are among a growing number of Red Deer high school students who are becoming fluent in Mandarin through for-credit classes at Hunting Hills.

Since China is becoming the world’s economic powerhouse, vice-principal Rick Ramsfield believes more young people are considering learning the language a good bet for future employment prospects.

Hunting Hills offers Mandarin classes in Grades 9 to 12 and Notre Dame High School is starting to as well.

Ramsfield said some Edmonton schools offer classes in the Chinese language starting from kindergarten, “and we’re looking at that eventually, as it’s growing in popularity.”

The trip is not only a chance for the students to experience Chinese culture firsthand, but to practise the language they’re learning, said Ramsfield.

He noted that one stop will involve visiting a high school in Chongqing, which is being twinned with Hunting Hills.

“Our students will be meeting students their own age.”

The visit will also include visiting a panda sanctuary, a giant Buddha statue and monkey-overrun temple in Chengdu, seeing the world-famous terracotta soldiers and cycling along the walls of the ancient city of Xian, and visiting the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden Palace in Beijing.

By seeing the wonders of China, Ramsfield hopes his students develop a deeper appreciation of what many Canadians often take for granted.

He noted 20 million people — or the equivalent of nearly half of Canada’s population — compete for space in Beijing. “They’ll see the closeness of people, how they have to live and get along with each other, and hopefully they will appreciate the space we have here in Canada.”

He also hopes the trip will spark a life-long love of travel.

Just Posted

Red Deer boat launches closed due to rising water levels

More thawing ice and snow means a higher Red Deer River and… Continue reading

Candles, flowers, messages of support at scene of Toronto van attack

TORONTO — Candles, flowers and messages of support are being left this… Continue reading

Sentencing hearing for second-degree murder in woman’s online beating death

WINNIPEG — A sentencing hearing is underway for a teenager who pleaded… Continue reading

Canadian firm linked to Facebook data scandal defends its political work

OTTAWA — The co-founders of a Canadian company at the centre of… Continue reading

G7 ministers probe threats of ‘dark’ internet in wake of daylight van attack

TORONTO — Security ministers from the G7 countries are discussing how to… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta dancers take over Red Deer College with their moves

Danceworks Central Alberta Dance Festival is now in its 38th year

Toronto in mourning day after van attack left 10 dead, 15 injured

TORONTO — Shock gave way to grief in Toronto on Tuesday as… Continue reading

2 approaches to turning recycled materials into art

What have you not seen recycled into an art form? Everything from… Continue reading

How a small P.E.I. police force is using humour to charm the internet

KENSINGTON, P.E.I. — A police force in a tiny Prince Edward Island… Continue reading

Habana, World Cup winner & Springbok record-holder, retiring

Bryan Habana, the lightning-fast South Africa wing and World Cup winner with… Continue reading

Canadians head home after U-17 soccer tournament called off due to violence

Canada coach Bev Priestman was preparing her team for a game Sunday… Continue reading

TV’s ‘Homeland’ feels challenge of competing with real world

WASHINGTON — Members of the cast of TV’s “Homeland” call it “spy… Continue reading

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

One in three older Americans with Medicare drug coverage is prescribed opioid… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month