Ten College learners who are studying Business and Travel and Tourism at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London jetted off to Shanghai from 22 – 28 October to visit Expo 2010 to see a grand gathering of the world’s cultures.

‘Better City, Better Life’ was the theme of this huge world exhibition in which every continent and country was represented by a series of enormous pavilions. “It felt as though we walked from New Zealand, to Europe, Australia and Africa in just few hundred metres,” said Keisha Byfield a Travel and Tourism student at the College’s Enfield Centre.

“For some cities improvement means having running water and a good sewerage system to prevent disease,” said Francine McArthur, a Business Student at the College’s Tottenham Centre.  “For others it means cutting down on carbon emissions and using more green technology – Expo 2010 really highlighted the different needs and stages of economic development of different countries throughout the world.”

As well as visiting the pavilions of Expo 2010 the group also explored Shanghai. 
“It’s an amazing city,” said Adam Nichols, a Travel and Tourism student at the College’s Enfield Centre. “On one side of the river it looks just like London, as it’s lined with classical European architecture, but on the other side they’re modern glass and steel skyscrapers – just like New York or Canary Wharf.”

The learners also visited the city’s bustling markets, Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower, which at 468m is the world’s third tallest TV tower, People’s Square, the well off residential areas, as well as the areas of bad housing and poor social care.
“We saw that while there is great progress and vast wealth in China there is also a lot of poverty, “said Theo Spanos, a Business Learner at the College’s Enfield Centre.

Debbie Abrey, one of the teachers who accompanied the learners, said: “Our learners get so much out of international trips like these, both in terms of personal development and in bringing to life what it is they are learning about in college.”

College Director, Kurt Hintz, who led the delegation, said: “We see how they grow to become confident travellers as they happily negotiate the city’s underground system, order meals in Chinese restaurants and live independently in a country very different from their own.”

This year more than 70 million visitors attended the six month long exposition, the majority of whom were Chinese. In a booming economy such as China’s many of the exhibitor’s are looking for Chinese investment – as well as fostering greater understanding amongst the nations of the world.

Next week the College delegation will present their findings and fascinating experiences from Expo 2010 and their travels throughout Shanghai to the College’s Principal, Vice-Principal and their fellow learners.  The ten learners are studying either Travel and Tourism BTEC National Diploma Level 3 or Business BTEC National Diploma Level 3.  Each of these qualifications is equivalent to studying for three A Levels and will help learners to progress to university or work.