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The Great Wall and Beyond: Sienna’s Unforgettable Journey to China

Hear all about the amazing experience Sienna Stoneking had during her trip to China.

Sienna Stoneking, a Freshman student in her first year of Chinese, is one of the 24 MHS students who went to China about a month ago. Reflecting on the week in China, she had a lot to say and seemed to have had a great time during her stay.

When asked what her favorite place on the trip was she answered, “I would definitely say the Great Wall of China.”

Sienna doing activities with a student at our sister school.

When thinking about why this stuck out to her, she emphasized the amazing views she encountered there, especially while keeping in mind the amount of historical architecture she learned about. She also talked highly about Muscatine High School’s sister school in the Hebei Province.

“It was really cool to see just how many activities and sports they offered there while getting to know the student I was partnered with during the tour,” said Sienna.

As I asked her if she wished to return to China in the future, her immediate answer was, “Absolutely. 100%.”


It may seem kind of out there to some MHS students, but after she visited China, Sienna found it to be so welcoming that she could see herself going to college there.

She even said, “It may not be where I am from, but I really felt like someday that could be my home.”

Part of her love for China stems from the major differences she found between Chinese and American culture.

Sienna learning about Chinese culture by making dumplings

Even when celebrating the New Year, “They have all of these special things that they do that have so much meaning behind them.”

She found this to be so amazing because for the most part, we simply count down and then party, but they have so many events and they are extremely proud of their connection to their cultural history.

Despite this, some of these cultural differences did come with some challenges, especially considering the language barrier.

She experienced this difficulty multiple times, adding, “There were so many times I wanted to talk to people, but I couldn’t.”

Because of the difficulty she had, it has deepened her desire to become more fluent in Chinese, continuing her learning with her future goals in mind.

It may be one month since Sienna went on her trip to China, but it’s an experience that she will remember forever and one she hopes to experience again.

“I just love everything about it,” she said.

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About the Contributor
Arabella Fourneau
Arabella Fourneau is a sophomore here at MHS and a first-year staff writer for the newspaper. She is very passionate about her grades and challenging herself academically. She also enjoys being a part of the orchestra, playing the cello, and enjoying the fun break it gives her during the day.
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    Connie KeitelMar 21, 2024 at 9:26 am

    Good article, Arabella! Glad you had a great experience, Sienna! Sounds like a trip of a lifetime.