“It was a trip of a lifetime!” Those are the words of Superintendent Tim Hoy when asked to describe UC Academy’s trip to Wuhan, China. Four UCA teachers and one UCA student accompanied Mr. Hoy on the educational and cultural trip over Easter break.
In January 2018, UC Academy entered into a new partnership with Eyas International Academy to open up a new Junior High program in Wuhan. In this new program, students in China would have the opportunity to attend an English-speaking school and earn an American diploma. After several Eyas visits to UC Academy earlier in the year, it was UCA’s turn to visit their counterpart and further develop the program. The UCA team had the privilege of delivering two lectures to Eyas parents and prospective parents on the value and priorities of an American education, especially from a Christian school perspective. Eyas also hosted an Educational Symposium that allowed UCA educators to share their expertise and best-practices on how to cultivate creativity and critical thinking in students.
“The teachers and staff at the Eyas Group are of such outstanding caliber that it creates an ideal partnership,” observed Kelly Mortenson, one of the UCA teachers on the trip. “Their willingness to learn and desire to grow are evident in their eagerness to collaborate and ask questions. They show gratitude in abundance and are a complete joy to work with. I look forward to continuing on this journey of partnership with them and anticipate great success on many levels.”
The trip was not all work, as the UCA entourage enjoyed hiking the Great Wall, touring the Forbidden City, visiting Wuhan University, and shopping at some of the most elegant malls. UCA teachers’ taste buds were in overdrive as they feasted on some of China’s finest dishes. The group were guests at the Han Show, one of the most theatrical and entertaining performances in the world, combining acrobatic stunts, high dives, and human drama on moving screens and stages. The Chinese are known for their hospitality, and the UCA guests were grateful recipients of it all throughout the trip.
“It’s been wonderful to see China opening up and engaging the rest of the world,” Mr. Hoy reflected. “They have so much history and so many treasures to share! I was profoundly touched by their warmth, and I was genuinely impressed by their growth…linguistically, culturally, and technologically. The Chinese are so motivated; education is a privilege, and they are investing a lot of time, energy, and money into it. In that aspect, we Americans would do well to learn from them.”
Both UCA and Eyas see value in the educational and cultural exchanges, and the two schools are planning to engage in more trips and collaborations in the future.