Under the AFS One Classroom Initiative, AFS Philippines have partnered with AFS China to conduct the first Virtual Class Exchange Live Session here in the Philippines, which was held between Global Innovative College (GIC) and Beijing Yanqing No. 1 Vocational High School last October 10, 2019. Both classes shared facets of their respective cultures as an introductory topic for this first exchange. 

 The class from GIC, comprised of 15 students, began the exchange by presenting a video of them dancing the Cariñosa, a Filipino courtship dance, as well as taught the Chinese class how to say Hello (Kamusta) and Thank you (Salamat) in Tagalog. They also shared about Filipino Values and Traditions, specifically the hospitality of Filipinos, and how they respect their elders by saying “Po” and “Opo.” The students from GIC also shared about their school life, notable places in the Philippines like Boracay and the Underground River in Palawan, and of course, famous Filipino Food like Adobo, Halo-Halo, and Lechon. The class from Beijing also asked what is the strangest fact about Filipino culture, and they answered that Filipinos like to eat “Balut”, showing a corresponding photo of this fertilized duck egg, which was met with shock from the other class. 

 The class from Beijing Yanqing No. 1 Vocational High School comprised of 21 students. Aside from the Chinese students, the class also included AFS hosted participants from Russia, Italy, Japan, and Thailand. Each group of students from these countries proceeded to greet us in their respective languages. They also shared about their school life like their “Routine Study” schedule, gave a virtual tour of their school, and presented photos of the extracurricular activities that they participate in. They also shared notable places in their hometown, like the Great Wall, as well as the most popular food in Beijing like dumplings and noodles. The hosted participants also told stories about their experiences with their current host families. The class ended with an AFS Volunteer demonstrating the art of Tai Chi, giving a quick, but fun lesson to the class in Beijing and the Philippines.