October 19, 2012
A summer in Canada
All my life I have chosen to experience as much as possible to enrich myself, but the most memorable experience in my childhood was the summer following seventh grade in school. I went to a summer camp in Vancouver, Canada where I spent half the day immersed in cultural studies and the other half involved in outside activities. Then I went to my aunt’s house in Toronto for two weeks. That was the first time I had traveled abroad. I was very excited about this trip and learned a lot from it, including the benefits of teachers directly interacting with students, the rewards of trying new things, and having the time to appreciate nature’s beauty and urban life.
I noticed several ways the culture of Canada differed from Chinese culture. First, unlike in China, Western people place heavy emphasis on interacting. For example, when I had a class in Canada, the teachers were more likely to communicate with the students instead of just teaching. We were not just listeners. I really admire this kind of education because it helped me better become involved in my studies. Second, the teachers often pushed students to go outside to do research. For instance, I went to the market to make a statistical comparison of the price for every kind of product. It forced me to communicate with the staff in the market. As a matter of fact, I improved my English.
In addition, people in Western countries liked to try new things. In China, I spent most of my time indoors studying; I didn’t know the wisdom to be found in engaging nature and its environment. For instance, I went camping on a big mountain and spent a night there. I came across many new experiences such as making a fire or erecting the tent and conquering them both. After I experienced these activities, I not only captured the Canadian culture, but also learned many skills from it. Furthermore, as I was living in a...