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  • 4/15/16
    Good Evening!

    We arrived safe yesterday afternoon with a seamless touchdown in Pudong, Shanghai.

    From the airport, we travelled to the small city of Suzhou (populace of 4 million versus Shanghai’s 24 million).
    Last night, we enjoyed a great first dinner in China and then strolled through the city’s center market to see the lights and one of the canals that flow through the city.
    Although bed check was at 9:30, we bumped it up by one hour as everyone was tired and ready for bed early and well deserved (including chaperones)!

    Today, we depart at 8:45 for a fun day of sightseeing - a canal cruise and in-depth walk through a water village; lunch and an up-close and personal visit with a family who will share their garden home with us; and then on to an arts village.

    Tomorrow, on to our sister school in Shanghai!


    Jason Hiruo

  • 4/16/16

    Good Morning from Suzhou!

    Yesterday was a great first full day in China for our students.
    Despite the torrential rain that followed us around, everyone had a fun day of experiences. We visited an incredible silk factory, then went on to lunch in the TongLi water village, took golf cart ride through the streets to reach the center for the village and then had a chance to explore the shops and waterways. The students experienced “rock star status” as locals and tourists sought them out for  pictures. In the afternoon we toured the “Oriental Venice” by canal boat, and in the evening after dinner prepared for our trip today.
    Today, we drive to Pudong, Shanghai where we will be welcomed by our sister school (located in the French Quarter) in just a few short hours.
    Our students will be welcomed with a celebration from their peers and teachers. The students will take classes today and be immersed in the classrooms and school community of the arts. Today will be very memorable!
    Look out for more pictures soon.

    Jason Hiruo

  • 4/19/16

    Good Evening from Shanghai,

    The past few days in Shanghai have been very successful. The sister school visit was exceptional, but too short, as the students could have spent the entire week with their new friends. We were sad to leave the school. Our hosts welcomed our students and made them feel right at home. New friendships evolved very quickly.
    Yesterday, we were hosted by the president of Shanghai Theatre Academy University. The students observed puppetry, dance, and music classes.  The ballet company and traditional dance classes were extremely impressive. 
    The president extended an opportunity for ECA students only to attend a two week-long summer arts program here at the university that allows them to participate in classes, experience the culture, and experience university life at the most prestigious arts school in the country. We will put more information out about this upon return.
    Today, we visited a park in Shanghai, and then took students shopping in a grocery store - a great way to experience the culture up-close. After lunch, the students went into downtown to experience the Jinmao tower and the city center skyscrapers. Then on to a tea ceremony and stroll through “Old Town Shanghai”, its backstreets, and a look at architectural style from a few hundred years ago.
    Tomorrow, we leave for Beijing in the morning, and have a chance to see China’s countryside by train.
    The students are doing well. We are very impressed with the level of camaraderie, support for one another, and maturity that they exhibit in every step of this trip. New friends are being made, and existing friendships are strengthening even more. This trip is developing bonds that will last a long time. Everybody continues to share their excitement and find new ways to look at culture and identify with the people of China that they come across each day.

    Jason Hiruo

  • ECA students sightseeing in Beijing!

    Jason Hiruo

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