Mandarin Study Camp 2017
Safely settled into Premiere Inn at Heathrow ready for the long flight to Beijing tomorrow. Fairly smooth travel from Jersey today, hope for more of the same tomorrow.
Students and Teachers are both having an excellent time seeing the delights of beijing.
The highlight of the first three days has been watching students from vastly different schools, from all over the UK, integrating and making firm friendships and learning so much from each other as they share a common bond of the Mandarin language. Our Hautlieu students have dived in with both feet and are a credit to the school and their families.
The heat has been incedible – 40 degrees and more every day but the students have been in good spirits and drunk plenty of water and used suncream.
It’s been a hectic but fascinating 3 days in Beijing. The moment we arrived off the plane we were allocated our guide and coach and whisked off for lunch then on to the Summer Palace gardens (pic above).
The hotel is good and everyone enjoyed a long and much needed sleep after so much travelling and jetlag.
The next morning we experienced authentic chinese food once more – this time for breakfast! It’s surprising how good egg-fried rice and soy sauce tastes at 7:30am.
Tienamen Square followed and our guide explained the incredible significance of this place for Chinese people.
Officlal photos were taken and then we explored the forbidden city, the former residence of the Chinese Emperors.
The students next had a chance to practice both their Mandarin numbers and their bartering skills at the Silk Street Market. Everything under the sun was for sale over 5 floors and the students quickly became experts at getting the best prices!
This morning (day 3) dawned with heavy rain and a long drive to the Great Wall, 40km outside the city in a mountainous region. Walking along the wall was extremely challenging, but some students braved the mist and the incline to reach the top of this section of the 5000 mile wall.
This afternoon we visited one of the narrow historic streets, filled with unusual shops, called Hutongs.
This trip is a study camp to enable students to develop their Mandarin language skills. Secondary to this, the students will also be exposed to Chinese culture through visits and interractions with our hosts.
The staff going on the trip are Mr Wyatt and Mrs Kelleher.
This site contains important information about the trip. Should any information you need be missing , don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Where we are going, 我们去哪:
We will be visiting Beijing and Harbin (Heilongjiang Province) during our visit. Information on Beijing and Harbin can be easily found online. Here are a couple of websites that may be useful:
*please note these are external sites and Hautlieu School cannot be held responsible for their content.
Travel information, 旅行信息:
There will be a maximum weight limit of 20kg for our checked in baggage. This limit is based on our internal travel within China.
One suitable sized rucksack as hand luggage.
There must be no sharp objects or liquids over 100ml in the hand luggage and any liquids that must be in hand luggage should be in a transparent plastic bag (usually in plentiful supply at Jersey Airport).
Bags must be clearly marked with your name to save confusion and anxiety.
It will be the students’ responsibility to carry their own bags so it is important that this limit is adhered to.
Food and Drink, 食物和饮料:
All our meals will be provided and will be a mixture of typical Chinese food and some western varieties.
There is often a large variety of foods on offer for each meal.
For those who have specific dietary needs, there is always a range of foods including several vegetarian options and our hosts will do their best with regards to Halal and Kosher foods.
Bottled water will be provided and students will be encouraged to take water whenever it is available.
There will also be opportunities to sample local soft drinks, such as the very refreshing bubble tea, during the trip.
There will be opportunities to buy other snacks and drinks during our free time and on trips. (For spending money guidance see the packing list)
Vaccinations, Health and Safety, 疫苗接种，健康和安全:
The current UK Foreign Office advice and travel information can be found here.
As a school, we cannot give advice on any travel vaccinations that may be required, but we advise that all students book an appointment to see their GP or local travel clinic. They will have more information regarding what is needed on a one to one basis.
When in China, we will be in a city environment or on a campus in the suburbs of Beijing and Harbin. We will not come into contact with animals and will not be in any malaria risk areas. You will typically be asked these sorts of questions when visiting your GP or travel clinic, as well as the location.
Other advice on health, vaccinations and travelling is available below:
*please note these are external sites and Hautlieu School cannot be held responsible for their content
Our hosts will ensure that we stay healthy and provide assistance if any medical or health issues arise. Quite often there will be emergency services with dedicated medical staff with us on the organised trips. There is always a local hospital near to our province base.
Insurance cover is provided by the States of Jersey Education Department policy.
For safeguarding reasons the only internet enabled device allowed in this trip is a phone. This is to be handed in for safe-keeping each night before bed.
There will be several options to talk with your child during the trip.
It is often the case with such a packed trip that we will have limited free time, do not be upset if you do not hear from your child regularly!
Internet connection will be very limited, both in content and speed.
Our hosts will ensure that there are opportunities to send emails and to get onto the internet.
Skype / FaceTime etc. may be possible, however the internet restrictions in place may make these unusable for calls.
Receiving phone calls may also be possible during free time, if there is a phone in the students’ rooms. This will be confirmed at a later date.
Facebook, Google, Gmail, YouTube, Twitter and several other commonly available web services are blocked in China. (Full list here [external content]) WhatsApp? will probably work, and WeChat will definitely work. School email accounts should also work.
We will issue students with a chinese SIM card for emergency use in China to ensure their safety. This is ONLY for emergency calls, not general texting / calls / data.
All students will be reminded to turn off their mobile data before we leave Jersey.
Likely Activities for the trip, 可能的活动安排:
- 20 hours of language immersion.
- those studying Chinese already will be put into a higher ability class to practice their language skills
- Multiple cultural activities and visits.
- Demonstrations and welcoming ceremonies
- ~2 minute introduction to the school
- major closing ceremony performance
- Sporting activities – martial arts, table tennis, basketball and football for example
- Visits to host families to experience the Chinese way of life.
- Opportunities to work and socialise with other schools from the UK and China.
- YCT exam and certificate at the end of the trip to test what the students have learned. This will be the YCT1 for beginners up to YCT4 for those studying at GCSE level
Full Itinerary (still subject to change in China depending on circumstances on the ground)
What is needed for the trip 旅行所需:
Here are some packing recommendations based on past Summer Camp experiences:
- Suitable clothing for the environment for each day of the trip including some sportswear for organised activities
- Should you wish to swim, there may be an opportunity in some of the accomodation, so a costume would be required.
- A single T-shirt is often provided by our hosts for official visits and publicity photographs.
- A hat to protect from the sun
- Lightweight waterproof outer layer.
- Sufficient toiletries, toothbrush, soap, shower gel, deodorant etc.
- Padlock for hold luggage / suitcase (with key)
- Insect repellent / wipes (essential during summer months!)
- Sun cream with suitably high SPF and star rating
- Some tissue / toilet paper (just in case!)
- Multivitamin tablets to help maintain the immune system on a very busy trip
- Painkillers (such as paracetamol)
- Pens / pencils / notepad for taking notes in Chinese lessons
- Camera / memory cards /charger
- A 2 pin Asian to English plug adapter to allow you to plug in electrical items
- As a guide, approximately £80-120 of spending money is needed for gifts, snacks, souvenirs etc. Have this money in RMB before travelling to avoid delay. At the time of writing £120 = Y1000 (approx)
- Get locally (pre-ordered) from Travel Maker or your bank, or for better rates go online, e.g. here or elsewhere.
- Non-electronic games and gadgets and books for entertainment.
- Hand-wash liquid / soap for clothing especially if the students need to wash their own clothes as it’s often expected that students in Chinese high schools wash their own clothes in the dormitory sink
- Travel fan with batteries
- Mobile phone
- check your provider for service in China
- remember the charger
- disable data services before you go
- Photographs of your family and friends as they serve as good items to talk about “life at home”
- modern electronic devices suffice for this in the 21st century but please note, services like Google Docs, Outlook, Facebook and Twitter will not be available.
- Some gifts for the families, hosts and guides involved in organising the trip:
- recommended 4 small gifts of a few pounds in value each
- chocolate is not recommended as it will melt in the summer heat
- something “traditionally British” always goes down well
Since this is a cultural and language trip, we will be learning aspects of Mandarin Chinese. For those who are currently studying the language, you will be developing your skills. For those students who have not studied any Chinese, Lessons will be aimed at introducing the basics of the language.
There are several ways to get a little practice in before we go:
For beginners or for a refresher, there are a couple of websites to help you practice / learn the language:
Beginners Chinese Apple podcast to download to an apple device as well as similar audio files on Spotify
*please note these are external sites and Hautlieu School cannot be held responsible for their content
A firm reminder that this is an educational visit and the aim is to learn about Chinese language and culture.