It’s not every day that you’re presented with the money and the means to design and subsequently take your own dream trip. Yet, that’s exactly what WildChina Education is offering to year nine students at an international high school in Beijing. We’re giving each student 200 “School Dollars” that will represent real money with which to craft and execute their very own educational tours.
Students Deliberate While on a Hike
In the run up to 6th of June, students will choose from 8 destination cities, (Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Shanghai, Wuzhen, Jiaxing, Hangzhou, and Longmen), 24 hotels, 24 meals, and 24 activities—the quality and authenticity of which is assured beforehand— to design their ideal tour.
All hotels are guaranteed to be comfy, safe and clean, and all restaurants cater to individual dietary needs. Throughout the process, students will receive guidance from our expert travel team; the rest is up to them.
The Starting Point at Hangzhou West Lake
Leaving from Beijing on June 6th, they’ll travel to Hangzhou. Then, after checking into the first hotel, they kick off with the Amazing Race Challenge Activity— a team competition covering the scenic shores of West Lake along with other major sites in Hangzhou city centre.
The competition is their chance to win 600 extra “School Dollars” to upgrade their personalized trip. Then after dinner, students preview and evaluate their plans with the other groups.
On June 7th, stocked up with provisions to protect against sun, wind and rain (as well as creepy crawlies), they head off to their carefully selected destinations, spanning Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, planning in advance to ensure the trip runs smoothly and they can make it back to Beijing and onto the school bus by June 9th. Along the way, every team will be accompanied at all times by a WildChina Guide and Team Leader – just to make sure nothing goes awry.
Students Race Along the Road
We also prepare a range of contingencies for all activities, so whether students decide on visiting Suzhou’s exquisite gardens or, exploring Shanghai’s M8 art zone, we have back-up plans for all eventualities, including in-door activities for bad weather, and emergency pollution masks in case of smog. In rural locations, emergency vehicles are on standby at all times, and every member of the travel team is trained in first aid.
There will be challenges, and in trying to ensure that the trip is feasible, fun and educational, students will exercise a wealth of skills, from budgeting to navigation, developing their independence and their teamwork.
Are two days enough to take in both Jiaxing’s giant South Lake— the founding site of the Communist Party of China– and Wuxi’s renowned Grand Buddha?
Suzhou Garden – Would You Stop Here?
Does Suzhou’s Street—though making regular appearances in classic Chinese literature, really warrant an the entire afternoon?
How do we avoid spending all our time en route?
And the all important question, how much will it cost?
These are just a few of the issues students will be required to grapple with if they truly want to grasp this opportunity and spend their School Dollars wisely. Through this activity, students are learning many tangible life skills as well as being introduced to what a day-in-the-life of someone working in the travel industry might experience. These real world skills are transferable to the adult life the students are growing into.
Additionally, these experiences look great on college admissions essays. Not many people can say they planned a trip around China on their own while in year 9!
If you’re interested in planning a similar trip or something even more unique and special for your group, inquire with the WildChina Education team. We can make any wish our command.