Putuo elementary school pupils recently guided over 20 overseas students from East China Normal University on a bus tour of Shanghai’s cultural landmarks.
The 14 pupils from Shanghai Jiangning School took the foreign students with the university’s School of International Chinese Studies on the No. 24 bus, which runs from the Changshou Community in Putuo to Fuxing Road E. in Huangpu District, with 19 stations on the way.
The route passes along Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River, passing many cultural sites such as the Sinan Mansion as well as former residences of the author Eileen Chang — famous for her writing about Shanghai and Hong Kong — premier Zhou Enlai and Dr Sun Yat-sen.
Jiangning school principal Wu Qinglin initiated the project to ask all Grade 5 students to take the bus and visit the sites.
Now, it’s been expanded in cooperation with the university.
“The bus-riding project is a best way to review the urban development of Shanghai,” said Hua Xiaoying, a deputy professor with the School of International Chinese Studies.
The foreign students with the university were divided into seven groups and followed the elementary students to visit the historical sites via various routes.
Zhao Yancheng and Xu Yucheng, two Grade 5 students with the Putuo school accompanied two foreign students from Kyrgyzstan and South Korea to the Moller Villa, the Shanghai Exhibition Center and Xintiandi on the bus.
Zhao and Xu made full preparations to introduce and explain the sites as well as visiting the sites beforehand.
“I used to ride a bicycle alone to visit different places in Shanghai, and the bus tour made me learn more about the city, especially its tolerance spirit, thanks to my little guides,” said the student from Kyrgyzstan.
Wu said the project made the elementary students become ambassadors of local culture, which enhanced their own awareness about protecting historic buildings and their affection for their city.