Trip Details

This International Winter Camp is a special, annual program aimed at helping Western participants understand Chinese culture, tradition and lifestyle, and, conversely, to help Chinese students learn more about life outside of China. You can choose to take part on this experience in Guilin or Hainan.

The aim is for participants to leave this program with a true sense of what it means to be a student in China, a greater understanding of the Chinese lifestyle, an appreciation for intercultural dialogue and exchange, and, most importantly, lasting friendships!

Every day on this program is different and jam-packed with events, forums, tours, and lessons… All designed to give you a comprehensive introduction to China and Chinese culture!

In the third week of your program, you will have the choice of either spending quality time with a Chinese home stay family or you could just simply decide to pave your own path and explore the cities of China on your own. If you choose to stay in a home stay, you will have the opportunity of immersing yourself in the lifestyle of a Chinese host family. This will not only be a pleasure for your host family, but also rewarding for yourself in gaining new cultural experiences, making you appreciate how others live.

You will also learn about their morning routine, how they sleep, how they cook, what they eat, etc. This experience will provide you with opportunities to learn the real Chinese way of life.

Some of the activities you may be involved in include:

  • Engaging in discussions of cultural differences and their implications
  • Assisting Chinese students with their English
  • Touring significant historical sites and cities in the surrounding area
  • Learning different Chinese art forms, such as calligraphy
  • Learning about the Chinese education system and teaching style

Aims & Objectives

  • To increase your knowledge about China’s culture, language and heritage
  • To improve the English conversation skills of local Chinese students
  • Develop insight into the Chinese education system and teaching methods

Trip Itinerary

Week 1-2
Monday to Friday
For the following first 2 weeks, you will meet different Chinese students and take part in the program with them together.

You will have the opportunity to teach half-days from Monday to Friday, either in the morning or the afternoon for about 2.5 – 3 hours. You will also have lots of time to explore the local area on your own and discover the many hidden treasures within this region.

For the other half day there will be time for lesson planning and a variety of activities that will be arranged, which may include: Walking around the Meimei village; Visiting Arcade Streets; Discovering the Volcano Park; Local Farm Experience; Relaxing on the Beach.

Saturday to Sunday
Free time

Week 3
Sunday to Saturday
For the last week of your program, you have the choice of either:

  • Celebrating Chinese New Year at a home stay with a Chinese host family
  • Free time to travel around China on your own

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Accommodation

Hainan

Hainan is a lovely island province located at the southernmost end of China. With a spectacular coastline that measures 1,500 km long, the beaches and the mountains in this region are breathtaking. Some have called it the “Hawaii of China”, because the weather is tropically warm and humid all year, as it has no real winter season. It’s a place that is rich in history and natural resources, where there are numerous seafood delicacies to be found on the menu. If you love hiking, there are scenic trails in the rain forest to enjoy local suspension bridges and cascading waterfalls. Hainan has something for anyone who wants to relax and chill and/or be adventurous.

Accommodation & Food

Our accommodation is located within Meimei Village, and it has standard rooms (4-6 people per room), which are male and female separated. It has hot showers, western style bathrooms and limited WIFI (the signal may be affected according to local conditions). There are public areas for volunteers to relax.

Food Arrangements
Volunteers can expect to have three meals a day served at the accommodation (two on weekends). Meals will be typical for the region and will likely include lots of rice, noodles and vegetables. Meat or fish may be served on occasions as well.

Facilities
There are limited facilities in Meimei village. A small shop where you can buy some basic items, a playground and a clinic. It takes 20 minutes to get to the town where you can find ATM’s and restaurants and just about anything else you might need. Once week a transfer to the town for shopping will be provided.

Sights & Surroundings
It’s around 35 minutes from Meimei Village to Haikou, which is the capital city of the Hainan Province. With beautiful scenery, numerous natural and cultural relics, during your stay you can experience the life of the local’s life and visit vivid statues of famous officials from the Tang and Song Dynasties in Five Ancestral Temple (Wugong Ci). You can also explore streets that are hundreds of years old, by bicycle to experience its unique architectural style and historical culture. Haikou People’s Park is another must-see, that is also a great place for you to relax yourself, as it’s covered with old-flourishing trees and vibrant greenery.

Guilin

Guilin is a province in southern China known for its dramatic landscape of limestone karst. In the majestic shadow of its mountains, on the edge of an authentic, rustic village lies our centre – a 260 year old building from the Qing dynasty. Its surroundings invite walking and hiking and offer a stunning view of the hills, as well as of locals farmers hard at work!

Accommodation & Food
This accommodation has western style toilets, a bar with a variety of drinks, snacks, and food all set in a unique Chinese atmosphere.

Available Room Types

  • Standard Room 2-8 people per room
  • Private rooms available on request
  • WIFI in public areas

Food Arrangements
We have our in-house chef busy making food everyday for you! Expect typical Chinese food with rice and noodles in Chinese dishes styles. Vegetarian food is also available upon request. Water,Tea and coffee are available throughout the day.

Support
We have fully trained Chinese coordinators at our centre. They are bilingual (Chinese – including local dialect, and English). They too live as part of the family at the Centre and are there to run scheduled activities whilst also assisting those who want explore the area or undertake self-organised activities. They are there 24/7 to deal with any problems participants may have.

Shops
There is a small local shop which sells snacks on site, but to reach ATMs and bigger shops, it is a 30 minute bus journey into town.

Transportation
Our Centre is about 4 kilometres away from Lian Hua town. It is easy to catch a bus into town during the day – or to cycle. Gongcheng is the largest town nearby and is about 20 kilometers away. Once again there are frequent buses or shared taxis. Frequent buses also go from there to Yangshuo, 42 kilometres away.

Money
There are days where you will not have many opportunities to spend your money but food, drinks and snacks can all be purchased cheaply. Around 100 Yuan a week should be more than enough. You will however need much more if you are looking at ‘extras’, such as self-organised trips during the week (e.g. to the street barbecues in Gongcheng). Take note that the nearest ATM that accepts international bank or credit cards is half an hour away by car so if you have such plans, you should get cash out at the airport upon your arrival, or in Yangshuo while you are there.

Sights & Surroundings
There are so many wonderful sights and places to visit in this area. A guide book can tell you everything you could want to know, but here are a few ideas we recommend:

The Li River
This river spans 80km from Guilin to Yangshuo and is decorated with rolling hills, unique cliffs, caves and comfortable boats and should not be missed. Especially popular among Chinese tourists is a spot close to Yangshuo that is portrayed on the 20 Yuan bill.

Yangshuo
A picturesque city famous for its surrounding hills, rivers and bar streets. Lots of activities offered including rafting, biking, rock climbing, a stunning light show on Li River and much more. Make sure to spend at least one of your weekends here.

Seven Star Park
Famed for its rock formations, the park includes many different attractions including the Flower Bridge, Seven-Star Cave, Camel Hill and even a zoo!

Trip Country Info

China

Capital: Beijing
Language: Standard Chinese
Currency: Renminbi (Yuan) (CNY)
Time zone: CST (UTC +8)

China covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometers making it the 2nd largest country by land area. It is not only the country with the largest population in the world but it is also one of the largest economies laying claim to being the world’s largest exporter and 2nd largest importer of goods.

It is a country of incredible cultural history boasting one of the earliest ancient civilisations dating back to around 2800 BC. Its landscape is equally rich in diversity, ranging from its forest steppes, its deserts in the north and subtropical forests in the south to its 14,500km long stretch of Pacific Ocean coastline. All of this makes China an incredible and exciting place to be, both in what it has to offer today and the story of its past.

China has solidified itself as a contender for global recognition and as a tourist hotspot.  We have a number of  travel experiences in China from volunteering & gap year travel  to Tours and Paid Teaching.

With an assortment of climates and social structures, it is near impossible to experience all of China in a gap year trip. You can invest yourself and discover a whole new culture and still miss out on a dozen other cultures within arm’s reach while travelling in China, and these programs are dedicated to helping you help others while experiencing the different wonders of the country. Combine adventuring through nature with helping those less fortunate, and you have got yourself a stellar journey ahead of you. If you are looking for a gap year holiday in China, conservation work, an exciting road trip in China,  volunteer work with Pandas, teaching or other work & travel in China have a look at our latest experiences below or contact us for more information.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum Age 17

Additional Requirements

No requirements have been provided.

What's included

  • 24/7 support in case of emergencies
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Pick up
  • English speaking coordinator
  • Meals
  • Orientation

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccination
  • Visa