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Volunteering at the Dandelion School (a NGO middle school that serves migrant children) in Beijing, China by Lulu Zhou ‘19

This blog post is a reflection from Lulu Zhou about her CCE Cross-Cultural Community Service Grant-funded project in China.

          The Dandelion School—one of the most successful, exceptional migrant schools with its strong educational resources and international connections—is a NGO middle school that specifically serves migrant children in southern Beijing’s urban-rural fringe. While studying in Beijing during the Fall 2017 semester, I volunteered at the Dandelion weekly to tutor a 9th grade English reading class to contribute to students’ improvements in English speaking, reading, and grammar. In addition, I translated for Dandelion educators and Finnish educators during a 3-day international education exchange seminar/training, in which Finnish educators shared Finnish education theories and practices with us.

          China’s rapid urbanization has led to large-scale migration from rural to urban areas, in which inequalities are expanding between rural and urban citizens. The deeply entrenched residential registration system (“hukou”) restricts one’s social benefits (e.g., public schools, healthcare, property rights, etc) to one’s birthplace, dividing citizenship into rural and urban. Thus many migrants and their children—who make up a large percentage of the urban population—are unable to enjoy many social welfares in their new homes.

          For example, migrant children face many institutional barriers that prevent them from attending public schools in cities.  Dealing with issues such as poverty, exclusion, and instability, migrant children are an underserved, underprivileged group that has little access to quality education and social mobility. Individuals founded “migrant schools” in migrant communities in response to the education needs of migrant children.  Many migrant schools operate in the grey area because they do not have governmental licensures, which are extremely difficult to obtain in the first place. Indeed, migrant schools have been increasingly facing more restrictions politically, legally, geographically, and socioeconomically especially in mega cities like Beijing.


“I gained experience in tutoring English to English-as-second-language middle school students and pretending that I couldn’t speak Chinese when I interacted with them in order to “force” them speak English with me.”

“I tried Chinese-English simultaneous translation for the first time when I was translating for the Dandelion educators and Finnish educators during an international education exchange.”


“Translation was challenging but rewarding and helped me improve my language skills.”


“I hope to raise more awareness through my sociology senior thesis on China’s migrant education issue.”


“Contributing to education resources of an underrepresented, underprivileged group and engaging in cross-cultural exchanges are tremendously rewarding. I would recommend everyone volunteering at migrant schools and NGOs; they need more resources serving an under-resourced population.”

          Studying sociology and education at Middlebury has reinforced my academic interests in education equity and access, migration, and family and instilled in me a stronger sense of social conscience and responsibility. My volunteering experience at migrant NGOs has not only shown me the educational and social inequalities in a different political, historical and social context, but also broadened my horizon about education generally and my own education specifically. Migrant children’s education is a huge social issue that impacts millions of families’ and their children’s life paths. This was a humbling and inspiring experience that motivated me to do my sociology senior thesis on this topic—I have returned to Beijing during summer 2018 to do my research, which focuses on alumni who graduated from migrant schools.

Holiday Schedule for FY19 and FY20

Good Morning!

We hope you read MiddPoints this week, if you didn’t click here.  HR was kind enough to post holiday breaks for the next two years:

Middlebury-Wide FY19 and FY20 Holiday and Floating Holiday Schedule

Beginning in fiscal year 2019 all US-based Middlebury operations will adhere to a single holiday and floating holiday schedule. In order to make departmental and personal planning easier, going forward Human Resources will publish a 2-year holiday calendar near the beginning of each academic/fiscal year. The first of these calendars is included below and will also be available on the Human Resources website.

Holiday/Floating Holiday Schedule

 Observance Type July 1, 2018 to

June 30, 2019


July 1, 2019 to

June 30, 2020


Independence Day FH Jul. 4, 2018 Jul. 4, 2019
Labor Day FH Sept. 3, 2018 Sept. 2, 2019
Thanksgiving Break H Nov. 22 – 23, 2018 Nov. 28 – 29, 2019
Year-End Holiday Break H Dec. 22, 2018 –Jan. 1, 2019 Dec. 24, 2019–Jan. 1, 2020
Martin Luther King Day H Jan. 21, 2019 Jan. 20, 2020
Memorial Day FH May 27, 2019 May 25,2020
Total Floating HolidaysTotal Regular Holidays 310 310

Holiday Breaks and Floating Holidays begin at close of business the day before the designated holiday (or holiday break) and end at 11:59 pm on the designated holiday (or holiday break).

Holiday (H) – On designated Holidays all Middlebury operations are closed, except for a small number of mission-essential functions such as Public Safety, the heating plant, etc., which may run on reduced capacity. The actual total number of Holidays may vary slightly from year-to-year depending on whether or not year-end holidays fall on a weekend day. Benefits-eligible staff employees record “Holiday” on their timesheets for designated Holidays which occur on days on which they would otherwise have been scheduled to work. Most non-exempt, benefits-eligible employees who are required to work on a designated holiday are eligible for Holiday Premium Pay in addition to regular and Holiday pay. (Employees who are not eligible for Holiday pay due to their non-benefits-eligible status may nonetheless be eligible for Holiday Premium Pay if they are required to work on a designated holiday.)


Floating Holiday (FH) – On designated Floating Holidays most administrative and some operational departments are closed, however certain academic areas are open as are departments providing direct support to those academic areas. Area VPs (or their designees) will determine which departments or functions may close in observance of the holiday and which must remain open and be staffed. Employees who do not work on a designated Floating Holiday record time away as “CTO” (note: time is built into CTO accruals to cover these days).  Employees who are required to work on a designated floating holiday earn regular (not premium) pay and do not record CTO.


—Cheryl Mullins

Asset Management Alumni Panel and Networking Event in Boston

The Center for Careers and Internships, Pam Czekanski ’81 (Loomis, Sayles, & Co.), and Alexandra Dorf ’96 (Cambridge Associates) are teaming up to bring you an informative alumni panel and networking event to help you learn what it’s like to work in Asset Management. Join us to meet alumni and discuss career paths in the industry, skills needed to be successful, and how to land an internship or job.

This is event is most appropriate for rising sophomores and juniors, but seniors are welcome.

Monday, July 30, 2018 at 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM

Cambridge Associates, 125 High Street, Boston, MA 02110

Business casual or formal attire required.

This event requires an RSVP by July 19, 2019. Space is limited, reserve your spot today.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Summer 2019 Applications Open July 1st

Please be informed that Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s GCIB and S&T applications for Summer 2019 opportunities will open on July 1 and close on September 9. All candidates must apply via the BAML website http://campus.bankofamerica.com between July 1 and the Sept 9 deadline, after which GCIB and S&T will no longer be accepting applications. GCIB and S&T expect to review applicants on a rolling basis. Therefore, it is critical that you complete your applications ASAP, preferably in the first few days after they open.

Review the BAML Recruiting Process very carefully. This material contains information on BAML’s Summer Webcast Series currently taking place, as well as the 2019 GBAM opportunities and tips on applying.

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