Day 28: Why I Came to Microcampus
It is time for me to reflect and reminisce back to the reasons why I wanted to embark on this journey.
I have lived China for ten years of my life and my exposure to “Chinese history” has been generally limited to large suburban areas, with travel experiences usually restricted to short-term revelations of my host country.
Leaving the comfort of Shanghai and immersing myself in a new culture and community intrigued me. Every aspect of the experience is designed with four pillars in mind: experiential learning, personal growth, expanding intercultural understanding, and making a positive impact. The four primary goals serve as the fuel to drive the process of discovering my identity and establishing unforgettable connections to the world outside the expatriate “bubble” of Shanghai.
Living and learning in Xizhou is real-world learning. It is recognizing “real China” beyond the tourist sites, sounds, and souvenir stands that define modern travel in China. The fascinating envisage of adventures and life lessons in Xizhou lingered in my mind for days. What lingered was greater than the shadows of skyscrapers, traffic, and urban sprawl. What lingered was an entrancing place with remarkable, powerful, stoical, generous community. A community of people with wisdom, erudition, and philosophy to share, and lives with stories worth sharing.
Before I applied for Microcampus, I was dispirited. I was downcast with the traditional limitations of a classroom. Joyless with the technical proficiencies of turning in homework. Upset with the 8th grade community I was familiar with. But most importantly, I did not know who I was. Did I fit in? Where do I belong? I did not know.
When the Microcampus opportunity emerged, I knew Xizhou was where I wanted to be for learning and personal growth. Microcampus is something bigger than myself; something greater than what I believed school was. Microcampus is an once-in-a-lifetime experience and it was an opportunity to realize my impact and find my identity as an 8th grader in SAS.
My rationale of applying for Microcampus was an interminable thinking process.