Gizem is from Switzerland and was part of the Summer 2017 Silk Road program. Her school’s, Gymnasium Liestal, first participation in one of our Explore China programs dates back to 2015 and they since then decided to come back every other year.
Read about Gizem’s adventure along the Silk Road!
Question 1: When did you come to China?
I came on 19.07.2017 to China and travelled back on 06.08.2017.
Question 2: How did you hear about ASDAN WYEF & Silk road trip and why did you chose go ?
Some flyers about the China trip were posted in the school. When I firat saw them, I did not think about going to China. Afterwards, a history and English teacher Mrs. Ruef introduced us to the Silk Road Trip and ASDAN WYEF and showed us pictures. I contacted Mrs. Ruef and wanted to know more about the trip. We met and she told me details about the trip, like what we will do and where we will go and explained to me the plan of the whole trip. I was really fascinated and decided to go for several reasons. Above all, I love travelling and discovering new countries and cultures. This trip was a unique chance for me to travel along the Silk road in China and to get to know so many new cultures, people and languages and to have unforgettable experiences in just three weeks.I realized, that everything was well organized and that I could never do such a trip by myself later, which also was one of the reasons for my choice to do this trip.
Additionally, I asked a friend who also decided to do this trip. I was lucky that I could do this trip with friends and other nice people from my school. Furthermore, 12 Chinese students joined us 12 Swiss students during the trip. This was another important reason why I decided to do it. I wanted to make new international friends and to improve my English at the same time. I was also very interested in in being a delegate for ASDAN WYEF and discussing highly interesting topics with other international students.
Question 3: What was the best moment during your ASDAN China trip?
I really enjoyed every moment of this trip. Nevertheless, there was a very special and unforgettable moment, which touched me deeply. This was the desert adventure. When we arrived in the desert I saw the endless dunes and the silent beauty of the desert. We climbed onto the dunes and watched the sunset. Afterwards, we put up our tents and camped in the desert. I had a wonderful evening with my friends. We made a campfire and lay under the starlit sky. We stayed up until the early morning and observed the sunrise. Afterwards, we rode camels and we sledded down the dunes. An unforgettable adventure with great friends.
Question 4: What are the 2 interesting things about China you discovered that the average person doesn’t know?
We visited the Wind Power array in Turpan, where there is permanently strong wind. I did not know that it is the largest Wind Power array in the world.
Another interesting fact about China was that there are so many different religions. There are many Muslims in the autonomous region Xinjiang. We visited the Turkic ethnic group Uyghur,
who primarily practice Islam. They have their own language and some of them also speak Arabic.
Question 5: What did you learn about yourself?
I learnt a lot about myself. When I think about the trip, I realize that this trip extended my horizons and my knowledge. I learnt so much during the trip, for example about the different places, cultures, religions, languages and history.
My thoughts and feelings about the world and people changed. I learnt that I’m more brave and adventurous that I thought. During the trip I got more self-confident.
Question 6: Why would you recommend this experience to other international high school students?
I would recommend this trip to other international high school students, because it is an unforgettable trip and life experience. You make so many international friends and get to know so many great people and many different cultures and religions. You also see so many new places and landscapes with a different climate, flora and fauna. At the WYEF you can have a great experience as a young delegate and you get to know students from all over the world. Everything is organized, you don’t have to care about anything.
Question 7: If you had to describe your ASDAN China trip in 1 sentence, what would it be?
The ASDAN China trip was one of the best experiences in my life and I will never forget it.
Question 8: Anything you would like to add? 🙂
China has the best food in the world. The food was so delicious, that I ate a little too much.
At the beginning of the trip I couldn’t eat with chopsticks but at the end of the trip I was a professional chopstick user.
Something, that I will also never forget were the night trains. It was a wonderful backpack life with great people.