Audition and recruitment tour in Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing
Friday, October 26, 2012
Hello from Singapore! We have had a very successful visit. We heard 35 auditions this year -- an all time high -- and we met many interesting students from Singapore and nearby countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and China. The English level of the students is always very high, which allows us to communicate and connect with students in a meaningful way. We enrolled a student from Singapore last year, and it has been rewarding to meet his classmates who are applying to Ithaca this year.
We flew Singapore Airlines from Thailand, which is always a highlight of the trip. The flight attendants are extremely nice and the service is fantastic, which is much appreciated after being away for so long. I picked up some gifts for my children in Thailand, but they are too fragile to pack in my luggage, so I will have to carry them with me for the next two weeks. The giraffe gets smiles everywhere we go :-)
I had a funny experience going through customs at the Singapore airport. When I walked up to the desk, the customs officer gave me a quick smile. Apparently, it was not big enough and her supervisor immediately came over and told her to be happier! Then, she couldn’t stop smiling. Only in Singapore.
We had a little free time one of the days, so Amy, Shaun, and I decided to take a quick trip to the zoo. I am glad we went; it was one of the coolest zoos that I have ever experienced. It is designed with minimal cages, so you feel like you are in with the animals. And in some exhibits, you are! We were in a covered tropical rainforest exhibit looking at butterflies and birds, when suddenly a lemur meandered by us. Amy loves animals, so she petted it, and it didn’t seem to mind since it hung around for awhile. Within this enclosure, we were also inches away from giant bats which are known as "Malaysian Flying Foxes," which have 4-5 foot wing spans and which reminded me of a scene from Indiana Jones. Throughout our visit, we observed different kinds of monkeys, elephants, tigers, and many other animals, and then headed back to the hotel.
We depart for Guangzhou tomorrow and then have almost two straight weeks of auditions and travel days in mainland China. As of now, we have 250 students scheduled in China, and we will hear about 420 all together this year, which is consistent with last year. Wish me luck!
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