Yarram Secondary College students Stephanie Maciol, Tahlia Feldman, Layton Sketcher and Eli Kerrison-Male touched down in China at approximately 6.00am on Sunday 25 October, their Chinese adventure, as part of the Young Victorian Leaders to China Program, had begun. Our students were tired but excited as they headed off on a bus for the 90min drive to Utahloy International School in Zeng Cheng, their home-away-from-home for the next 6 weeks. The most surprising aspect of their arrival wasn’t culture shock, the sound of fire crackers going off, or arriving in an overwhelmingly busy and noisy city airport but the humidity, 98%, and described by one of our students as ‘killer’. The international school where our students are staying is situated on 86 hectares of Botanical gardens which is the backdrop for a very busy and active program, including cycling, orienteering and kayaking, ideal for adolescents. Layton and Eli have been really enjoying the school’s exercise facilities with running up and down turtle hill each morning, swimming and using the weights room. Layered over the more physical activities are daily Mandarin classes and traditional Chinese painting and instruction in the art of paper cutting. On their third day in China the highlight was a bike ride into the local village and Chinese painting with a local artist. According to Tahlia and Steph these were both amazing cultural experiences. The Chinese painting lesson was amazing and the student who did the best artwork received one of Mr. Wong’s paintings. Eli was the winner “because of his beautiful technique” said Mr Wong. All the students have been a big hit with the locals but in particular Steph and Tahlia due to their fair hair, blue eyes and light skin. Many photographs have been taken with them posing for the locals; the peace symbol a popular stance! Meanwhile Elijah and Layton have tried a few of the local delicacies including chicken feet, with chopsticks of course.