Chinese students leave Shropshire with heavy hearts and happy memories

A group of nine students from China have spent a week immersing themselves in the breadth and challenge of a top independent boarding school in Shropshire.

The pupils, who had won a competition in the China Daily newspaper to come to the UK, were aged between 11 and 14 and spent time living and learning at Ellesmere College.

They took part in CRE8, a student led arts evening, which saw several visiting pupils play instruments, sing and demonstrate the best way to make a traditional Chinese tea.

Six of the group have now returned to Shanghai - while three are staying in Shropshire for another week as they said they were enjoying it so much.

Jolie Mao, is one student staying on until Friday (Feb 16). She said: “From the moment we arrived, we have all been made to feel really welcome, from all the pupils right through the school and the staff and house parents have been brilliant at ensuring we experience as much as we can.

“I have so many wonderful stories and memories, I can’t wait to share them with my friends back in China.

“I am sure after listening to them and watching the documentary, they will all want to come to Ellesmere College, as do I.”

The trip, which was sponsored by the Bank of China, included a reporter from the China Daily and film crew which is creating a documentary about the experience to be shown on Chinese TV.

It stemmed from a partnership Ellesmere College has with UK Boarding Schools, based in Shanghai and Beijing.

Each visitor was assigned a ‘buddy’ to show them around Ellesmere College and take them to lessons.

Throughout the week, the pupils took part in a range of learning activities both in and out of the classroom as well as visit local attractions.

Nick Pettingale, External Relations Director at Ellesmere College, said: “It has been an incredible learning experience for all concerned.

“The visiting pupils have taken on board everything we offered and have really made the most of their time.
“Our own student community have really engaged with the visitors and many have learnt much for the visit.

“The “buddy” set-up has been terrific and it would be unfair not to single those pupils out who have done an incredible job on behalf of the College to make the visiting students have the best time as possible.

“These pupils are exceptional examples of what the Ellesmere educational experience is all about and I am happy to say that they are the rule here, not the exception.

“There were tears from all concerned as we said farewell, but not goodbye. Those pupils made a great impression on us and Ellesmere has made a great impression on them; I hope we will see them again in the no so distant future taking up a place in the school that they already hold so dear.”

When many of the visitors left on Friday (Feb 9) they were all dressed in Ellesmere College kit, gifts given to them by the friends they had made here.

They also each took a copy of the Shropshire Star, so they could show parents about their time as local celebrities.

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