Ni hao (Hello) China Travelogue: Setting the scene


My travelogue, "Ni hao China", is a series of posts of all the amazing experiences I had when I participated in an educational tour of China from 09-20 April this year.


I have never travelled overseas and we had planned to visit Thailand later this year as our first international destination. However, life happens. I was invited to participate in a Study/Cultural Tour of China that was organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Cape Town. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity!


In my travelogue, Ni haChina, I will capture all the amazing experiences from the clumsy travel packing, to the experiences in China and the rich conversations I had with my fellow travellers.

This page will double as a central page that sets the scene for the travelogue.


The travelogue will consist of two parts:

Musings about the BEFORE China preparations and the IN CHINA highlights.

Conversations with the travelling principals.


The Education delegation taking a selfie at Dubai airport

Our visit to China


The Principals' Study Tour was hosted by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) in Beijing and organized by the San-Yat-sen University (SYSU) in Guangzhou. We have been invited to participate in this study/cultural tour by the Confucious Institute at UCT via the director, Professor Qin.

The partnership between the Confucius Institute at UCT and Schools


The Confucius Institute at the University of Cape Town, promotes the learning of Chinese language and culture to South Africans. As part of the Confucius Institute's outreach programme, it invites schools to establish a Confucius class where learners are taught the Chinese language by Chinese teachers that are contracted to the school. Schools that wish to take advantage of this programme, can offer Mandarin classes as an extra-mural activity or offer Mandarin/Chinese language as a second or third language.  The Confucius Institute provides all the teaching and learning resources as well as the teacher to the participating schools.


Twelve school principals and two education officials ( my colleague, Rodney and I) were invited to participate in the Principals' Study Tour to China. The aim is to help principals gain an insight of the history and culture of China.  Of the group, three of the principals were already offering Mandarin at their schools as an extra-mural activity, or, as in the case of Westerford High School where Mandarin is offered as one of the First Additional Language electives. The other school principals are keen to introduce a Confucius classroom at their schools.

The School delegates


The twelve  schools that formed  part of our 17-strong delegation are: Westerford High School, Simonstown School, Groote Schuur High School, Bridgetown High School, Sinethemba High School, St. Andrews Technical School, Pinelands North Primary School, Westlake Primary School, Groote Schuur Primary School, Rosebank Junior School, Norma Road Primary School and Golden Grove Primary School.


There you have the background of our visit to China. Now that these formalities are taken care of, I will be taking you along on all my experiences as a newbie international flyer to the amazing experiences we had in China.

So, fasten your seatbelt and prepare to lift off with the Ni hao China Travelogue.




Have you visited the East and what were your experiences like?

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