Qualicum Beach got a taste of the Middle Kingdom over the past week as the town played host to a contingent of Chinese students.
The delegation, said Kwalikum Secondary School teacher Brad Wilson said the students, from Zibo #11 Experimental School, arrived in the community on Feb.5 and were slated to leave Monday.
The reason for their visit, he said, was to learn more about Canada, it’s education and political system, with the hope of returning at a later time to complete their secondary and possibly post-secondary education in this country.
“What the Chinese government is doing is reforming their education system,” he said. “They are taking their very best students and sending them abroad.”
The students, he noted, have clearly been studying, displaying an impressive grasp of the English language.
Some of the students, he said, are studying both the Chinese and British Columbian curriculums, allowing them to receive double certification when they graduate.
“They’ll get their Chinese certification as well as their Dogwood certificate,” he said. “It’s one step towards enrolling in Canadian universities.”
He said KSS students have been invited to take part in a similar program in China.
While in Qualicum Beach, the students have stayed with host families, who have done their best to provide them with a rich experience.
“Our students are opening doors and providing them with experiences they wouldn’t normally have in China, such as going ATVing,” he said.
Prior to jetting back home, the students were slated to take a tour of the University of Victoria campus.