International Trip to London
Our secondary students left QAIS on Friday, April 18 for an all encompassing trip to London, England. This was the first international trip arranged by our school and was headed by Chris Cronin, a true Brit and our very own DP CAS Coordinator. He was assisted by Jeff La Roux, the DP Coordinator. Our students experienced a wide variety of disciplines on the trip. There was something for every interest including art, music, sport, theatre, history, science, service to others, and a thrill-ride theme park.
Our journey began early on April 18. We were at the Qingdao airport by 5:45 am.
Saturday was museum day. We went to the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the British Museum. We walked around the West End taking in the culture of this international city.
On Easter Sunday, we began with a view of the city from the London Eye, then walked by Big Ben, through Trafalgar Square, saw famous paintings in the National Gallery, and ate in Chinatown.
We had another view of the city on Monday from the spire of St. Paul’s Cathedral. We walked across the Millenium Bridge, along the Thames, and then crossed back to the other side on the Tower Bridge. We had a traditional fish and chips lunch and saw the horrors of the Tower of London. Later that afternoon we stopped at the monument, built after the Great Fire of London and some of us braved the hundreds of steps to the top for another fantastic view. That night we went to the theatre for a musical performance of Stomp.
We had a busy Tuesday, traveling to Wembley Stadium where we saw the behind the scenes action that sports teams see when they play. We saw the broadcast room, the locker rooms, and then walked into the immensity of the stadium itself.
Tuesday afternoon was reserved for service to others. Our students met with the students from the American School of London and cooperatively helped them with two of their established service projects. One project was the Adventure Playground where the students played football, skateboarding, swinging, and dug in the garden with local children.
The second project was located at Kilburn Park School where our students helped local children prepare for a community mural.
The American School of London is only a block away from Abbey Road, so we were brought to the famous intersection to try our walking skills at crossing the street in the same location as the Beatles. Our evening event was a classical music concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing the music of Elgar, Prokofiev, and Rimsky-Korsakov.
Our final day in London was reserved for a local theme park: Thorpe Park. We had a good meal, and then headed back to Qingdao the next day.
This trip was possible through the work of devoted school staff and parents. A special thank you to our Ms. Gao for booking arrangements, and to parents Ms. Lily and Ms. Jeung for helping us chaperone the trip. It was a full and fast trip to a city that was new for most of us, and the experience of international travel opened our eyes to the possibility of “what’s out there.” There is a big world out there waiting for our students to conquer it!