Welcome to Beijing!
We are happy to announce that all students attending the 2014 MMLA Beijing Academy have arrived safely! Luckily, there were no real flight issues and even traffic from the airport back to campus was on our side - not very common here in Beijing.
Check in was a breeze, since our RAs helped set up students’ rooms before they arrived. After a short rest, we gathered everyone together for our first group picture before heading out to enjoy some authentic Chinese food for our opening banquet. Students, teachers, RAs and administrators all gathered to enjoy a large variety of classic Chinese dishes; one of the best parts about eating in China is that everyone can try so many different dishes.
Our RAs mixed in with students during dinner and had great conversations about China, the Chinese language and MMLA in general. It seems everyone is a little bit nervous but also very excited about the Language Pledge and only using Chinese for the coming weeks. Since our RAs have all done Language Pledge programs in the past, they offered some good advice on how to overcome the difficulties of only speaking a foreign language (body laguage, weird sounds, etc.) and can speak about the effectiveness of the Pledge at improving students’ Chinese levels.
To finish off the day, we had a small orientation meeting to introduce our entire staff and to go over our major rules of the aAademy. At this point students were practically falling asleep, despite our best attempts to keep everyone energized, but at least they all made it past 9pm before going to sleep!