Dear Priory Parents:
Repeating our efforts from four years ago, Priory is again offering students the opportunity to obtain an up close and personal view of China. This June we will chaperone a 16 day trip to four different cities in China, highlighting our relationships with schools in China, showcasing the various world heritage sites there, sampling the cuisine of various ethic regions and making new friends while solidifying old friendships.
This trip will be chaperoned by Mr. and Mrs. Finan, Mr. and Mrs. Gleich and Mrs. Sams. While final details are still being hammered out due to flight plans, we know that we will depart between June 2 and June 6, and return between June 18 and June 22. Our departure date follows graduation, so seniors are certainly eligible to be a part of this group, but all high school students are invited to consider this opportunity.
We begin our visit by flying to Beijing and attending a welcome dinner hosted by LuHe High School. From there we will use the weekend to visit the Urban Planning Hall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall among other sites. Host families will take care of our Priory students over the weekend and boys will stay in the very modern dorms at LuHe for a few days. They will observe and attend classes for the better part of two days. A fine arts seminar will be a part of those two days, and a visit to the Hanmeilin Museum (one of only two like it in the world) near the school will highlight our stay in Beijing.
From Beijing we will fly to Changchun, a large city in Northeastern China in a province previously known as Manchuria. There, boys will meet some of their pen pals in Changchun #2 School. Both a stay at the high school, as well a home stay, are planned. Changchun #2 School is famous for its hospitality as Dr. Yu, Mr. Wenger and other members of the Priory faculty who visited this past summer can affirm. While in Changchun there will be various sightseeing opportunities, including a visit to one of the largest outdoor sculpture parks in China, which contains a museum dedicated to a book written entirely on stone tablets.
After our short stay in Changchun we will travel by air to Xian in Central China, the home of the terracotta warriors and the best dumpling restaurant in all of China. Only 20% of this historical site has been excavated so far, and three separate museums are dedicated to the exposition of what has already been unearthed. A full day is devoted to studying and touring this incredible archaeological treat. We follow that with a two-hour dinner at the dumpling restaurant where our previous Priory tour group distinguished itself by eating every one of the dumplings in an 18-course dinner. There is much to see and do in this walled city, including taking a bicycle tour on top of the city walls.
From there the main group will travel either to Hong Kong or Shanghai, while Mr Gleich and Mr. Finan detour to Liuzhou and surrounding areas to visit the school which has twice sent us students for our Winter China Program. We also hope to take in Tianmen Mountain before reconnecting with our students in Hong Kong or Shanghai. There is so much to see and do in either of these cities that boys will run out of time before they run out of places to visit and things to do. Both cities have a marvelous subway system, a skyline that is absolutely incredible and wonderful food. From our final destination we will take a nonstop return trip to the U.S.
Throughout our trip we will be accompanied by English speaking guides in each city. All flights and internal transportation to and from every school, museum and historical site are provided. In addition, lodging, museum entry fees, and all meals for 16 days are included in the fixed price of the trip. Our largest expense will be the flight to and from China, which is difficult to estimate as fares vary right now by as much as $500 per round trip ticket. We believe that the total cost, excluding the $190 visa fee which our China program will help subsidize, will not exceed $4000.
If this trip sounds like a wonderful opportunity for your son, perhaps a special graduation gift or a fantastic cultural and learning opportunity, then please contact either Mr. Finan or Mr. Gleich (firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-3690 ext 121, email@example.com or 636-489-8247) You do not need to speak Mandarin or be a member of our Mandarin classes to be eligible. Our last trip was a 50/50 mix of boys from the Mandarin classes and those not in these classes. As senior Matt Travers will tell you, though, spending time in China will definitely improve your Mandarin speaking and listening skills.
We are planning a spring informational meeting in the library once we have a better grasp of those who are interested in this once in a lifetime opportunity. At that meeting we will feature our China liaison, Mr. Allan Chang, who has assisted us for six years now with our China programs and who also helped plan our previous student trip to China.
Hoping that you are interested and eager.
Joseph V. Gleich & Anthony G. Finan
Co-coordinators of Priory’s China Programs