In recent years, Shanghai’s population of foreign students studying abroad in China has increased to 377,054 (International Institute of Education, 2014). A large portion of these students find themselves in Shanghai, drawn in by the academic and professional opportunities that the city offers.
Once students begin to study Chinese history and culture, they often find themselves interested in the societal challenges currently facing China’s citizens. Stepping Stones recently had the opportunity to teach two groups of study abroad students about the issues facing migrant children and guided them through an afternoon of teaching.
On Monday, October 19, eighteen MBA students and two faculty members from University of Notre Dame spent the day at Shuangjiang School in Minhang with Stepping Stones. After a training, the volunteers taught two English lessons to grade 4 students.
The very next day, a group of seventeen MBA students from Duke University traveled to Chenchun School in Songjiang for a day of volunteering. After a training on the bus, the group arrived ready to teach. They taught an English lesson to grade 4 students, and even had the opportunity to observe and participate in the children’s exercises.
Both days, the children were very happy to spend the day with American university students, and the volunteers enjoyed it as well. Aside from creating a memorable day for the students and helping them improve their English, events like these can have an important impact on the volunteers. By learning about a complex issue facing Chinese society and spending time engaging with new communities, the Notre Dame and Duke students undoubtedly added depth to their time in China.