EF Xi'an 80s Pub Quiz

EF Xian schools came out in force recently to challenge one another in a battle of the brains.

Staff were asked to board the delorian and take a step back in time (long before some were even born!) to see how much they could remember of that outrageously entertaining and simply bizarre decade known as the 1980s.

With Madonna blasted from the DJ booth and cries of “Who ya gonna call?”, a good night was had by all. That was, until the result came in and to everyone’s dismay the EF Confucius Trophy would be heading back to school 3 (boy, those guys know a lot of useless stuff!)

Thank you to all that came and for helping us to raise over 1500元 for the Xian Animal Protection Shelter!

See you all at Xmas! 🎅

EF Xi'an Hi-Yo Sports Day

All cross-city allegiances and friendships were put on hold during the EF Xi’an inter-school Hi-Yo Sports Day last week - with HQ and EF1 controversially taking home the team awards.

All teachers and staff came together to test themselves in the grueling Xi’an sun, with long jump, skipping, sit-ups, relay race and a cheerleading competition all on the menu.

After months of fasting, Sandy Harrison said of his preparation for the two minute sit-up challenge: “It was tough. I don’t think I got my diet quite right. Who knew sitting in front of the TV for 6 months eating Doritos wasn’t enough preparation for a sports day?”

The announcement of the team awards going to HQ team (who in fact arranged the sports day) and EF1 was met with a stunned silence from all involved with participants demanding a recount. Alex Boel, of EF1 said: “I don’t know why the other schools got so angry. It’s quite clear. We gave money to the event managers and in return were given a team award. What’s wrong with that?”

About HQs team award, HQ team leader Jane Gu said: “Is it suspicious that the event arrangers took home the team award? Absolutely not. Not at all. Nope. Why would that be suspicious? It’s very unsuspicious if anything. I mean, were we the ones that collected and counted the points? Yes. So I can personally vouch for the integrity of the result… the extremely not suspicious result.”

EF1 have been challenged to retain their championship medal next Spring, plenty of time for Mr Harrison to adjust his diet and training regime; rumours are it will involve repeatedly picking up food off the floor, pushing around a baby buggy and waking up in the middle of the night for extra workouts.

Congratulations to all those who took home awards and thank you to those who helped to arrange the day!

EF Xi'an End of Year Gala

EF Xi’an celebrated a year of incredible growth with the End of Year Gala on January 21st.

The night was full of wonderful surprises, awards, performances from staff and food aplenty.

The night allowed all to let their hair down and congratulate one another on their achievements in 2018.

Congratulations go to all award winners! See you all next year!

Work hard, play harder!

August has been an extraordinary month. The success of our Summer session; the grand opening of school 6; relocation of school 1 and of course the One Day Trip!

Thanks to Lou Guan Resort for hosting the retreat.

Relaxing by the pool, a trip to the nearby water town~

Party, music and awards! What a great way to end the summer!

Go EFers, work hard, play harder!

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (By Lauren Anderson - EF Xian teacher)

Greetings, readers!

So, for my blog post, I decided to brace the hot and humid streets of Xi’an to do some sightseeing at the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (not to be confused with its daughter structure, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda). 

Currently, I am taking a short breather at a Burger King meant to resemble ancient temples of Xi’an, located in the north side of the park, as I have spent the better part of my morning walking in awe of the grounds surrounding the pagoda, as well as the ornate Buddhist temples within the inner walls (and of course the Pagoda itself!).

This is probably a good time to dish out some facts about this must-see, so here you are:

  1. The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is a staple attraction to Xi’an, due to its history as a center for translating the sacred sutra scrolls which are integral to the Buddhist religion. These texts, as well as many Buddhist relics, were carried along China’s famous Silk Road, and found their way to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda during the Tang Dynasty (that makes the pagoda over 1,300 years old!).
  2. The temple’s structure has a square foundation, which was a popular architectural style during the Tang Dynasty.
  3. When it was originally constructed, the pagoda had only 5 floors; Currently, however, for a breathtaking view of the entire ancient city, one must ascend seven flights of steep, wooden, spiraling stairs. The climb is easily doable for all ages (even in this dreaded heat!), but visitors with certain conditions may need to take precaution before visiting.
  4. As you climb the towering pagoda, you can learn about various relics and texts, located on each of its seven floors. For example, some of the Buddhist texts were written on ancient Pattra leaves, due to a lack of writing paper. According to my Google research, there are approximately 657 Pattra scrolls, which were stored in the basement of the pagoda. These scrolls are considered to be very rare because less than 10 people in the world can understand Sanskirt- the language of the scrolls.
    One can also witness the Sarira, which is a relic considered to be a holy object, used for worshipping in Buddhist rituals.

Visitors must absolutely stay until mid-afternoon or evening for the famous (and FREE!) fountain show that occurs all-year round, just outside the inner walls. It is Asia’s largest water show, and is synchronized to a one-hour orchestral performance. It is a particularly spectacular show at night, due to the multicolored lights that accompany the show. It was really exciting to watch, and honestly my favorite part of the visit, besides the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda.

There is also much to see beyond the inner walls. One can stroll through both the East and West Gardens, and take photos of the sandstone statues scattered throughout. These statues depict various icons of China’s history, such as Qin Shubao and Yuchi Jingde, two generals of the Tang dynasty, who escorted Emperor Taizong for his entire lifetime. As well, one must walk to the South Square and witness the large statue of Monk Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty.  For my shoppers out there, across from the statue is the Great Tang All Day Mall. 

As impressive as it is inside, it was really an adventure just to walk up the strip outside this building, as there are many historical and culturally significant installations, donated to the area. These statues ranged from life size depictions of various, prominent, Buddhist monks of the Tang Dynasty to whimsical, Alice in Wonderland-esque, features. 

All in all, I would give this location a five star rating because of its well-maintained park, cultural significance, unique entertainment, and amenities. 

Let's Get Quizzical!

Thank you to all those that attended the pub quiz last night, raising money for the Xi'an Small Animal Center. And congratulations to the winners from EF5; recipients of the very first Confucius Trophy! Look after it and be prepared to defend your title as champions next time!

EF Xi'an End of Year 2018 Gala

EF Xi'an recently celebrated another successful year with the annual end of year gala. The night was a great success with food, drinks, awards and performances from our multi-talented staff. 

Highlights included a performance from EF3 teachers of 'Let It Be', a banjo duet from David and Johan and as ever the highly anticipated dance from the Marketing department.

We look forward to next year's event!