IEC(Integrated Enrichment Classes)
The task of this course is to prepare students for the cultural and academic challenges they will face during their university studies abroad in the United States of America. Chinese International students will confront cultural, social, academic and linguistic challenges while living and studying abroad. The Integrated Enrichment Course will give students the academic, cultural and social awareness they will need to succeed in their studies in America. So on May 8th, Mr.Robert Li gave a speech about America High School to us. Here is an article from Harry who is a student from International Department Group B after listened to it:
Today, Mr. Robert Li told us studying in high school in the United States and with his own experiences and things that we need to be aware of. He described the thriving and vibrant high school life. We not only were amazed at the colorful American high school life, but also with a reasonable admiration with American high school curriculum.
The two class curriculum from China and America have many similarities. For example, they both have mathematics, physics, chemistry and other basic courses, which are mandatory, both programs also include music, art, sports and other auxiliary classes. But the United States has clearly the richer school extra curriculum activities. To contrast, Chinese schools pay a lot of attention to knowledge and education, while the United States pay more attention to students character building, with extra curriculum activities like band, drama, publication and etc. . This is also one of the reasons why they attract us. We will also have many more clubs next year, I’m sure our experiences will be richer as well.
In his speech, Mr. Robert Li mentioned some of his experience in the United States. Students attend school around the same time as us, at half past seven every day, and are off school at two thirty or three o'clock in the afternoon. The American students do not have a fixed classrooms, which is very different with what we have here. And the American High schools classes schedules are very rigorously planned, for example, to maximize student course progress without delay, Instead by having classes by the weekdays, the classes are assigned in days, so if we missed Friday’s class, we will have them on next Monday, so no classes are missed.
There are many similarities with both Chinese and American High Schools as well. In the arrangement of courses, American high schools have 9 classes every day, forty minutes per session, that’s almost as same as ours. The only difference is that each recess is only four minutes for them, and 10 minutes for us. While in class, we have very similar number of students and activities. We both have small class sizes, around 25 students or so, and in class activities, we have group discussions, group projects, SRA readings and etc, which are all very similar or the same with American High Schools. So we are truly experiencing American High School life with being here in China, at home.
Another emphasis that Mr. Robert Li had was the importance of reading. While many American high schools may not request their students to read a lot in high school, the student life would change dramatically in American Universities. He emphasized the amount and the importance of reading in college, which takes most the students effort and time. What we are doing now with SRA and other reading homework and such are exactly that to prepare us to be ready for the university life in America.
Over all, we have learned so much about American High Schools, And we feel so much better with our program here. And we thank Robert for sharing so much with us.