Venice World Language Magnet rewards yearly trip to ChinaFriday, May 18, 2012 By Afrika Gonzalez
One of the highlights that Venice World Language Magnet provides students is its annual week-long trip to Shanghai, China for students taking Mandarin. Not just any student can go. Mandarin students must go through an interview and in that interview, the magnet coordinator determines whether the student is responsible and mature enough to go. Their grades, a recommendation from their language teacher, and passing the interview all factors into who can go. Students must pay for the trip themselves, which could vary from $900-$1,000, depending on the things and activities you do in China. Mandarin teacher Mr. Tim Liang, Magnet Coordinator Julie Markussen, and the 10 chosen students went to Shanghai during spring break. "It was fun because you have freedom to do whatever you want," said Andrew Walker, a Mandarin 2 student. Each student stays in a host student's house with a family. They attend classes, get together with their classmates, and go on tours and sightsee in China. Students can only go once in their four years in the magnet. This year, not enough suitable candidates could afford to pay. Diana Martinez, a Mandarin 2 student, claims that it was too much money for just a week so she decided to wait until she masters the language a bit better and saves up money. The magnet coordinator decided to accept students taking Japanese since the language and culture are very similar. Even though not many people speak Japanese in China, the Japanese students said they had an unforgettable experience. Asia Stoll, a tenth grader who went on the trip, said that even though she's from the Japanese class and doesn't know any Chinese, she was able to learn a few Chinese words. She was very excited to go, as it was her first time out of the United States. She said she was nervous, but had an amazing time. "I expected a beautiful place and I got it," said Stoll. Even though she wishes the trip could have been longer, she said she had an awesome adventure in China and will definitely return in the future. She was also inspired to learn Chinese as her third language, after English and Japanese. She was inspired by the trip, as were other students who went.