Geoffrey: Reflecting on the Beijing Experience

7 April 2019

I’ve finally begun to adjust back to life at NCSSM, getting a hold of my makeup work and readjusting my sleep cycle. The journey was quite the experience and put education into a global perspective. The opportunity to speak with students from Italy, Australia, the Czech Republic, and more countries broadened my understanding of other cultures. Those conversations also gave me the chance to reflect on my culture as I attempted to describe life in America to those interested. I also became so much closer to those in my delegation as many of those around us were working towards proficiency with their English.

The group maker activity unique, yet challenging, as I designed and built planets with students from China and Russia. The event itself was quite elaborate and featured many journalists recording our work. I enjoyed presenting my research, but it was a much different environment than research competitions in the US as my jargon-filled research project was not as easy to understand for those with the language barrier. It was especially difficult to gauge the understanding of my audience when I presented to the public as I was unsure of their competency with English. I am incredibly grateful for the experience and all of the wonderful people who I had the chance to meet—especially our translators who I grew close to.

The weather was beautiful as were the places we visited while we were there. This experience has inspired me to study abroad in college and experience education in different places around the world.

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