Students from a top school near Shanghai have swapped China for Bedford and a 10 week programme to learn English and experience British culture.
The students have joined Year 7 at Bedford Free School where they are attending normal lessons and immersing themselves in life at a British state school. The guest pupils are also staying with families in the town for the duration of their stay.
In return, the Suzhou Foreign Language School students and their teacher Miss Weidan have been giving lessons in Mandarin to BFS students, who have also been learning about Chinese culture, calligraphy and art.
As with all international exchanges, gifts have been shared between the two schools.
Principal Dong presented Mr Lehain with a ceramic Panda, an important symbol of peace and friendship in China.
Mr Lehain presented a book – The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Mr Dong was delighted and remarked it would take pride of place at Suzhou Foreign Language School.
During a special visit by school leaders, BFS Principal Mark Lehain and Suzhou Principal Mr Dong discussed closer cooperation and the possibility of a return in the future.