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How can there be peace without people understanding each other, and how can this be if they don’t know each other?

Lester B.Pearson

Early supporter of Pearson College, former Prime Minister of Canada, and Nobel Peace Laureate

The striking feature of the UWC is that they embrace the entire world. They are unique and they are conscious of their responsibilities.

Nelson Mandela

Late Honorary President of UWC, Former President of South Africa

We have realized our dream to create a dream school for you. Please go out and realize your dream and other’s dreams.

Wesley Chiu,

Member of UWC National Committee of China, board member of UWC Changshu China

The sense of idealism and a purposeful life really makes the UWC experience unique and its impact life-long.

Wang Yi

Co-Founder, Vice Chairman of Board and Executive Director of Harvard Centre Shanghai. Pearson 89-91

UWC was one of the ten members of the international schools association that created the International Baccalaureate Organization in Geneva in 1963 … today, they are taken in over 4,000 schools worldwide and have become the gold standard for university entrance.

Sir John Daniel

Chair of UWC International Board and International Council 

I regard it as the foremost task of education to ensure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial and above all, compassion.

Kurt Hahn

German Educator, Founder of United World Colleges

This is Probably the Craziest Class Schedule you Have ever Seen

Issue date:2020-03-19

Although when they first started online teaching, they were not that skilled and all sorts of unexpected glitches happened now and then. After one week, they gained a lot of confidence and could share their ups and downs during the online class in a casual manner.

However, at the time when most teachers were still struggling with the speed of the network and making sure they could manage the students well, some "new online streamers" faced challenges far beyond our imagination.

How difficult was it to take an online lesson? Here's the answer. But, before you do that,  please guess, what is the following table with 27 countries and 15 different time zones?


Is it something for a travel agency or a five-star hotel? No, it is actually a timetable for a Chinese teacher's online course for students of UWC Changshu China. It is used to mark the various time zones of students taking the Chinese class from all over the world!

When sharing this extremely complicated schedule in her WeChat moments, teacher Han Lu did not forget to add some humor: "Now everyone should understand how a Chinese teacher is being tested by his/her knowledge of geography and mathematics!"

But the challenge is not only that. Given students are located in 100 different countries in the world with different time zones, teachers at UWC Changshu China have to give "night class" a couple days a week.  Teacher Han said: "Although 'night shift' is the norm, 'night shift' cannot solve all problems. Small classes and one-on-one tutoring need to be run to make use of every bit of time to engage students to learn and practice Chinese. "

In order to ensure the effectiveness of online teaching, when giving online classes, teachers work really hard.  However, sometimes teachers have to surrender to "technical failure".

Valentine's gift——韩璐,初级汉语教研室负责老师、IB预备班文学课程教师

On the Valentine's Day on February 14th, teacher Han scheduled a one-on-one session with a student in Venezuela to do speaking practice at 8 o'clock in the morning, but unexpectedly she received a “Valentine's Day gift". As soon as she turned on the computer, she received an email from the student sent to her two hours ago. He told teacher Han that "there will be a nine-hour power outage at home, and I can't be online and will miss the appointment, sorry."

Things like this happened three times in that week.  As students are staying in all parts of the world, the power systems and network systems in different countries are different. In addition, the misunderstanding of time caused by the crazy time difference made the teacher feel like the next online meeting needs to "wait for a thousand years."

After two weeks of class, teacher Han was really tired. In addition to occasionally getting mad at the technology, she found it not easy using audio but not video during the class since she wanted to ensure the smoothness of online classes.   She could only guess how her students are doing without seeing the facial expression of her students.  So she tried to guess, figure out and confirm with the students again and again "Do you understand?" Teacher Han said, "I'm pretty sure they must understand what it means by the Chinese word, 明白 Ming Bai very well now?."

Despite the difficulties, teacher Han is deeply touched by the enthusiasm of her students, especially the DP1 students. They are still working hard to learn Chinese, and practise with their teachers. Their heartwarming care an encouragements, at this tough moment, to teachers, and to China in the fight against the epidemic make teacher Han feel all her efforts are worthwhile..

"Baby,go sleep with your dad, mum is going to work!" Every Tuesday and Friday at 9:15pm, Teacher Han Lu will say this to her seven-year-old daughter, and then she can shut herself in a small room and begin her "global live stream".

A ray of sunshine from El Salvador——冯婷婷,初级汉语课程教师、CAS知行活动副总监

Ms. Feng Tingting teaches Mandarin ab initio courses for two graduating classes this academic year. With the distance learning program launching, her first reaction was: ‘except for the regular class hours, how could I help students maintain their strong motivations of language learning even if now students are not in China?’ The immersion language environment students used to have: Chinese-speaking teachers, classmates and friends, canteen and cleaning staff, gardeners etc. even snack stores and supermarkets they liked to visit after school, are now all gone.

In order to help students keep the routine of speaking this language to native speakers at a minimum level, Ms. Feng decided to have one-on-one online oral sessions with each and every student. Topics includes the recent COVID19 outbreak in the recent health teaching unit, and others that students have learned over the past two-year syllabus.

As a result, we now have the following timetable, which is as crazy as the one that Han Lu made!


The number of students in her two graduating classes accounts for nearly 1/2 of candidates who chose Mandarin ab initio course in Class 2020, now separated in 26 countries across 16 different time zones. After having this timetable, she then made her weekly timetable where students signed up for oral sessions and sent out all the meeting invitations online. But that seems not to bring too much comfort but another worry: “How many students would pick up the video call on time in reality then?"

The answer was finally revealed at 11pm on Sunday, after Ms. Feng reached out to the last student, who is now in El Salvador, Central America. By the first sight, Ms. Feng could see he got a bit slimmer than he was at school. He was wearing a T-shirt, and his slightly tanned face bathed in the beautiful sunrays of that morning, which was rarely seen in Changshu during that season. He had asked his mother to wake him up at seven in the morning to get ready for the online class at eight, but mom did so actually at six and force him to get prepared an hour earlier!

During more online sessions like this, Ms. Feng gets connected with her students again via the 13-inch computer screen, and most importantly, they once again get to express themselves in Chinese: to talk about their families, how they were doing, and the changes that the unexpected outbreak had brought to their lives. Also, they get to share how this whole experience has given them a new understanding of China.

Under the outbreak of COVID 19, the most rewarding part of distance teaching for Ms. Feng is actually these individual sessions with students that overcame the difficulty of geographic space and time differences. To her supervise, 100% success rate of online connection, being able to see one and another excited faces across the screen and being able to hear them shout out 你好,婷婷!is such an unexpected pleasure during her time under quarantine, seemingly like the rays of sunshine from El Salvador. "I am really grateful for the relationships that I was able to build with UWC students, full of mutual respect and support. I never felt it stronger than any times that I am now deeply bonded with every corner of the world due to the ties with my students, even though I’m staying at really a small corner of Kuncheng lakeside on campus.”

If you’re well, it’s a sunny day for us——陆雨,初级汉语课程教师、TOK课程教师

As one old Chinese saying goes, “Misfortune may prove a blessing in disguise”. Ms. Lu Yu has started a new career as “global streamer” since the corona virus interrupted the normal teaching. As a “global streamer”, Ms. Lu Yu heartily appreciates the students’ support, even though it means her teaching load was doubled because of the time zones. Right now, Ms. Lu Yu and the students are getting used to the Distance Learning Program.

On February 5th, before the Distance Learning Program officially started, Ms. Lu Yu wrote her students a letter to help them understand what is going on, how to prepare well for online learning and what the requirements and expectations are. She asked the students to keep in close contact with teachers and classmates, reply to the messages as soon as possible, download some Apps they need for the class, etc. The most important move for Ms. Lu Yu was to ask her students to schedule a checking-in meeting with her through Microsoft Teams to ask for more information about the Distance Learning Program.


Thanks to this letter, Ms. Lu Yu not only informed the students of the plan for distance learning, but also found out when it would be most convenient for the student to communicate with the teacher individually, if they were familiar with the functions of Teams and how good the internet was, etc.


As a matter of fact, the checking-in meetings scheduled by students through Teams are quiet helpful. It is a great beginning for students to stay in touch with Ms. Lu Yu. No matter it is to schedule one-on-one mock oral assessments or to ask if the class would be recorded, students are now used to communicating through Teams, email and ManageBac.


Ms. Yu Lu is very grateful to her students who are all over the world now. Their self-discipline, hard work and passion in learning Chinese made her see the light under the haze of the epidemic. Ms. Lu Yu is happy about and proud of her students’ progress made in the Distance Learning Program. If students are doing well, it is a sunny day for us teachers.

Online Teaching: from beginner to expert level—— 季露璐,初级汉语课程教师、IB语言文学课程教师、IB一年级年段长

As a teacher who has been teaching in a real classroom setting for 15 years, Lulu is not a big fan of online teaching and those fancy tools. If there’s a debate on “Whether distance learning will eventually replace schooling”, she will not hesitate to join the counterclaim team. However, in early 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 has made a big challenge for all teachers in UWCCSC: online teaching is no longer something listed and discussed in Teaching Forums. It is a necessary tool to support UWCCSC students from all over the world. Therefore, Lulu has to pick up these online tools and learn to sharpen them as a weapon, to protect her students from all difficulties that they meet in their daily study. After 3 weeks, Lulu has already grown up from a beginner to online teaching expert. Here below she would like to share some of her secret recipe.

Secret Recipe No.1: "Information Chain on wechat"
You usually use this method for people to sign up for an activity one by one. Lulu uses it to analyse proper teaching periods for her ab students. 15 students in Lulu’s class are located in 5 different continents about 12 different time zones. Therefore, to quickly find the right time for most of them to have classes becomes the biggest challenge during the preparation period. Lulu’s trump card is "Information chain on wechat". Within five hours, students around the world quickly confirmed the time one after another and the timetable for their classes. You know what: the first week attendance rate of students’ online class reached above 80%.


Secret Recipe No.2: "Teams"
Teams is an online class platform stipulated by the school. As a beginner of online teaching, Lulu is exploring how to make her teaching more effective every day. In return, her students would give her daily quick lecture on using Teams from their experience from other classes, their feedback on the previous class teaching as well as their ideas on class planning. Lulu changed her class module on the second week upon all the feedback, and started to record videos in advance for preparation. Students often sneaked into her private recording online meeting room. And the third week, Lulu has opened the door for all students who are interested in her recording and discussion became part of the preparation video.

Secret Recipe No.3: Rich Online Resources
 Have you ever met a student who keeps asking you for homework? Maybe not. But Lulu is now being chased by students for more homework. Students are asking: "Are there any more Chinese reading assignments?" "Could there be more speaking practices on flipgrid?" "Does Quizlet update?" UWC CSC students’ thirst for knowledge gives Lulu a strong motivation. Therefore, her favorite sports right now is couching while searching a variety of online learning resources for students.

After stumbling for more than half a month, Lulu felt her technical skills have improved rapidly. But she still misses her students in every corner of the world and looks forward a real physical hug from all of them.

They Really Enjoyed Online Learning——李丹,初级汉语课程教师、TOK课程教师、IB预备班年段长

This year, Li Dan has seven students in her DP1 class. They are from New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Jamaica. Since the beginning of the Distance Learning Program, students in her class have shown extraordinary understanding and support. Together with Li Dan, they actively respond to all kinds of difficulties and challenges. As DP1 students don’t have to deal with academic pressure coming from exams or college applications right now, they have been indeed enjoying the flexibility and freedom brought by online teaching.

With an attempt to try multiple online teaching platforms, Li Dan and her class discovered the benefit of using the group chat function on Wechat to do assessment interaction and communication. Every day after online session Li Dan would require students to self-record an audio or video related to topics discussed in the class and post it to the WeChat group. Peer evaluation are encouraged and teacher feedback will follow. The group will then become a hotspot for discussions after submission. Students sometimes joke around or tease each other and bring lots of laughter to the little community. Li Dan always provide timely feedback on their assignments and help students with pronunciation and grammatical problems. This Wechat Group is always full of joy! Li Dan expressed that this WeChat group used to be very serious and was meant for announcement only, but now it has become an interactive platform which incorporate entertainment with teaching. This is something unexpected and rewarding.

"Never underestimate students' learning capacity and creativity especially when trouble comes!" stated by Li Dan. This is something she feels strongly about regarding her students during this unexpected period. She was very concerned about the quality of online teaching for second language courses especially for Chinese since Chinese is a very difficult language even with face-to-face teaching, let alone there seems no live interactions now. However, in the past few weeks, she was pleased to find that students’ potential is beyond limit. "They adapt to all kinds of learning software and platforms quickly. They take the initiative to reflect, ask questions, and give feedback. They creatively produce new phrases or sentences based on the knowledge they gain, even though sometimes their novel ideas would make you laugh or cry. They are passionate and keen to pursue knowledge and the enthusiasm is not restricted to either time or space. One girl in my class even stayed up late, though this is not recommended, to wait for my Chinese class and she said the online Chinese class was the last one I would want to miss." When speaking of these, Li Dan was very delighted and proud.

来自博茨瓦纳DP2 学生Iwani绘制的“中国加油”海报

Regardless of this unexpected pandemic outbreak, Li Dan is happy that she and her colleagues get chance to explore new teaching methods and models, which is something meaningful.

The sudden outbreak of the epidemic in 2020 disrupted everyone’s regular life. It turned us all into chefs.  Parents have become teaching assistants, and teachers have turned themselves into online show stars. But nothing could stop us from adapting to the changes quickly and becoming a better person.

Although scattered around the world, the lovely teachers and students of UWC Changshu China are optimistic and positive in the face of difficulties. Teachers work hard to teach, and students try hard to learn.

Difficulties are temporary. We do believe that every challenge will bring about changes. We are ready to face the challenges, embrace the changes of the times and become future change makers

There is more in you than you think.


——Kurt Hahn


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