The 2016 China Study Camps, whick took place this July, were a great success. The 278 students and teachers from UK schools were supported by Hanban, the IOE CI, the Chinese province leaders and a mass of volunteers to ensure they had the “trip of a lifetime.”
Schools arrived into a hot and humid Beijing on 10th and 11th July to begin their 15 day adventure in China. The schools were split into four groups which reflected the Chinese province where they would be spending the majority of their time. The four areas were Jinan which is the capital of Shandong province, Changzhou in Jiangsu province, Shenyang which is the capitcal of Liaoning province and finally Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang province.
The groups enjoyed seeing all the major sights in and around Beijing, such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace and the pandas at Beijing Zoo. The groups then moved onto the selected provinces to begin their Chinese classes and be exposed to different aspects of Chinese culture.
The Jinan group stayed on Shandong University Campus and spent their time exploring the provincial capital city, participating in many cultural activites and being entertained by the exceptional Chinese teacher, Li Laoshi. St George’s School even managed to organise their own trip out to an ancient city and traditional village.
The Changzhou group experienced authentic Chinese school accomodation, sleeping on bunkbeds in dormitary-style rooms. Students braved the humidity of Jingsu province to vist the Shanjuan Caves and the extremely popular Dinosaur Park. Students were also lucky enough to go on a day trip to Suzhou and Qufu, which was the hometown of Confucius.
Things differed slightly in Shenyang, with the schools staying at a hotel in the centre of the city and taking a bus to Northeast Yucai High School every day. Students and teachers loved the freedom this gave them to really explore the city and discover how the Shenyang locals spend their evenings. The students got to spend time playing sports and hanging out with Chinese school students of a similar age, which was great for their Chinese language learning.
Last but not least, the Harbin group enjoyed slightly cooler weather being near the Russian border and got to experience many of the Russian influences on the city. One of the highlights of Harbin was seeing the famous Harbin Ice Festival on a much smaller scale in the middle of Sun Island Park. Students and teachers wore protective clothing and entered into a special room which was -10 degrees to see all the famous ice sculptures.
Thank-you to all the students and teachers who participated in the trip, as well as Hanban, the Chinese group leaders and all the volunteers. To read more about the summer camps and how to apply, please click here.
The annual IOE CI Young Photographers Competition is taking place this year with a special category for the 2016 camps. Please find further details about it and how to enter at the following link: IOE CI Young Photographers Competition