#SPPinChina Photo Gallery

#SPPinChina Wraps up Amazing Trip

If you’ve followed along with our updates, you know it’s safe to say our students and teachers experienced a once-in-a-lifetime journey through China, learning the history, culture, customs, and more.

We have one last trove of photos to share, and we thank you for following along with us as we watched our group explore China.

#SPPinChina Update

As many of you know, we currently have a group of students and teachers wandering around China, learning about Chinese history, culture, and language, while exploring the many sights (and food) of the country.

The group just wrapped up Day 16 of the trip and returns July 14. Below are OVER 100 PHOTOS taken from July 5 to July 10. Enjoy!

First Photo Gallery

(Originally posted July 3) Our group has been in China a little over a week now, and from the look of things, they’re having plenty of good food and loads of fun exploring the country and learning about Chinese culture! What’s your favorite photo? Comment below!

SPP Journalism: Students Dislike American Food

SPP Students give American food Two Thumbs DOWN

These articles were written by St. Paul Prep’s Journalism class.

SPP students do not like American food, because of its awful taste and excessive use of chemicals, according to the interviews conducted at SPP.

Although SPP students vary in cultures, political views, and religions, they have one opinion in common: American food seems unhealthy and not as tasty.

Fabrizio F., a junior from Venezuela, seems to prove that point.

“The first thing I think about American food is not very good, very unhealthy, and not very well prepared,” he stated. “It usually comes from a different culture also. It’s usually trashy food like hamburgers.”

Jeanne A., a senior from France, listed the multiple ways that American food is different from food in France.

“Serving size, which in America is so much different [bigger], GMOs are illegal in France; the quality of the food because meat here is not that good and not sustainable or anything,” she concluded. “We eat way more veggies and bread, but good bread, not the smushy bread that is nice looking for two months.”

Wuttikorn “March” K., a senior from Thailand, made it clear that chefs in his country prepare food in diverse ways, and something like that does not exist in the United States.

“They are a lot of differences. We use herbs, we use spices from India, and China and India influence Thai food,” he claimed. “We use a lot of seafood stuff that makes it kind of a little fishy, but it just tastes the best.”

Interestingly, American SPP students have the same view on American food. Hayla O., a junior from the United States, completely does not really enjoy it, so she finds different foods to consume.

“I eat a lot of Colombian and Mexican food. I love Thai and Chinese food!” she confirmed.

Living away from their families and having a new experience with regional food makes SPP students miss home more.

“I miss my food more than my family, to be honest,” March lamented.

SPP: A Matter of Fate

Coming to St. Paul Prep (SPP) was my fate. A lot of people don’t believe in destiny and call it “coincidence,” but whatever it was, it gave a twist to my life. I had different plans before coming here. In fact, I didn’t know about the school’s existence until August 2016, one month before flying to America. Originally, I was going to study in one of the best schools in Boston. I had already discussed my specific case with the school, had found a Host Family, and even had my ticket reserved, but due to visa and school inconveniences, I had to let that dream fade away and stay in Venezuela.

Having to hear “You’re staying,” was one of the toughest things, and I refused to believe it. I seriously disliked my school in Venezuela because they taught me nothing, and I felt like my parents were simply wasting their money in what had been promised to be the best school in my city. However, as much as this news dragged me down, I had to embrace the fact that I had no other option, be grateful for what I have, and understand that everything happens for a reason.

It wasn’t my destiny to go to Boston because it was my fate to discover the Twin Cities.

A week before my 11th grade was over, I decided to go visit my aunt the same day my mom was flying to Caracas (Venezuela’s capital city). I wasn’t supposed to go with her, and I didn’t even know what time her flight was, but for some unknown reason (because I usually don’t spend much time in my house) I decided to go back home to watch a movie with my little sister.

When I was driving back, I stumbled upon my mom by “coincidence” and thought “Well, accompanying her to the airport wouldn’t hurt me, and I won’t see her in a while, so talk to her and ask her to wait for you while you dropped off the car at the house,” and so she did.

When we got to the airport, my friend Kike happened to be in there as well. Kike is one of those old friends whom you stopped hanging out with a while ago, yet the friendship remained the same. I greeted him with a warm hug, asked him how he was, and where he was going. He told me he was going to Caracas for a meeting with Students Program, an exchange student organization that is affiliated with another organization named Nacel. I felt excited for him, especially because I had also planned to do my senior year in the U.S., but it wasn’t possible, I told him. We continued talking when he finally said: “You can email the organization, and they can find you an international school that will give you a high school diploma.”

In that moment, I became deaf to every single individual in the room. I could not believe it. Here was my last chance to (as sad as it sounds) escape my disastrous school situation in Venezuela. I hushed Kike and ran to find my mom and tell her this news. Her flight had already arrived so there was not much time to talk to her, but odds were in my favor: Kike’s mom’s seat on the plane was next to my mom’s. They spent the entire flight discussing the benefits of this program they had just introduced to us, and as the plane landed in Caracas, my mom called my dad.

We had a few meetings with the program, and three weeks later, I began this journey to SPP.cropped-cropped-sam_9946.jpg

A Traditional Chinese New Year

An SPP Student tells about her Chinese New Year traditions back home…

 

Chinese New Year is the most important festivity for the Chinese people. It is also called the “Spring Festival” or the “Lunar New Year.”

The most important part of the Chinese New year is that the people who are working or have jobs very far away from their hometown go back to their family before the New Year’s Eve. All family members should be together and have a grand family reunion dinner.

About the food:

We make dumplings on the Chinese New Year Eve. It is one of the traditional foods. It means people will have an auspicious new year. Fish is always part of the dinner because it presents abundance. We have different foods to celebrate the Chinese New Year. In the south of China, people always make spring rolls, but in the north of our country, people will make noodles, dumplings, or New Year cakes.

Lucky money:

To all the children, “lucky money” is the best part of Chinese New Year. They go to visit their relatives and say “Happy New Year” to the elders. They will always get a red packet [that contains money]. The lucky money is given from elders. It means they wish the young kids to have a good year, be healthy and have good grades.

My favorite part:

For me, there are the most important parts of the Chinese Happy New Year: Being with all my family and getting lucky money. Preparing to have a good and fresh new year. Being successful in the next year.

– Xin Qi (Althea) Song, Student from China

A Student Glimpse into a Lunar New Year

An SPP Student tells of his traditions back home for the Lunar New Year:

 

“Back home we play with firecrackers/fireworks on the last day of January. You have food with your own family; every family member should be together. After that day, we will visit [our relatives]. Children usually get red envelopes ‘Hong Bao’ with money in them. They give this money [in a red] because in the ancient times they believed there is a monster that is afraid of big noise and anything that is red. The monster is called “Nian,” the meaning of this is “year.” When the Nian got away that signified that the year has passed and it will be a new year.

This year here in America, he celebrated very differently…

“First we went to the Mall of America. Then with my friends we had a big dinner at the Grand Sichuan, there were 28 Chinese students from our school.”

– Bob, SPP Student