An exciting winter holiday is on its way, and many parents would like their kids’ holidays to be not only interesting, but also educational.
Traveling abroad has always been considered one of the best options, as it allows children to visit different countries and learn about different cultures. Yet, a pure sightseeing journey doesn’t always seem good enough – it would be more exciting for the kids to get a chance to interact with locals.
That’s why joining a winter camp has proven to be a popular choice year after year. It offers children the opportunity to learn a foreign language, and use it in real life by communicating with local people.
China’s economy is growing rapidly, and more and more people have shown their interest in exploring this fascinating country. More and more parents every year begin thinking of sending their kids to China to join winter camps. Yet, as China still remains an exotic country to many foreigners, when parents prepare their kids for winter camp in China, concerns related to life in China may arise.
Not to worry – we are here to provide you with some tips on what needs to be taken into account before sending your kids to China.
1. Get Familiar With Chinese Culture
China has a beautiful, but very different culture. Cultural differences could be a potential barrier when communicating with people of different cultural backgrounds. That’s why it’s always useful to understand some basic aspects of the Chinese culture and traditions in advance.
It’s also necessary to explain to your children the importance of respecting different cultures, which means letting them know that they might experience a cultural shock in a foreign country and that they are expected to have a tolerant attitude towards it.
2. Learn Some Basic Chinese
Learning Chinese is compulsory for most Chinese winter camp programs, and usually, there are different class types on offer. At That’s Mandarin, for example, your children will have the opportunity to join a wide range of Chinese classes, such as story classes, reading classes, cartoon classes, and character classes based on their personal preferences.
In order to improve learning efficiency, it would be useful to get familiar with the Chinese phonetic system and learn some basic words and phrases used in daily conversations in advance. This would more or less stimulate your child’s interest in the Chinese language and help gain confidence in learning Chinese further.
3. Be Careful With Chinese Food
Chinese food is famous for its diversity, and the taste varies tremendously depending on the region. Some regions like Sichuan and Hunan are known for their spicy dishes, which are extremely popular across China. If your children are tempted to try such spicy delicacies as the one and only “Ma Po Tofu” (numbing hot tofu), it’d be sensible to remind them not to have too much in one go, as it could cause an upset stomach. On top of that, some Chinese dishes are very greasy, which is another problem many foreigners agree on.
Don’t worry if your children don’t like Chinese food – there are plenty of western-style restaurants, including chain restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King, in most major cities in China.
4. Overcome Homesickness
The winter camp trip might be the first time your children get to stay in a foreign country on their own for a couple of weeks. If that’s the case, it’s highly likely that they might get homesick after the first few days in China. In order to overcome homesickness, it would be a good idea to remind them to bring their favorite toys or a couple of books that they would enjoy reading when they are alone.
Yet it’s still important to realize that joining a winter camp also gives a chance to be independent and make new friends. One of the objectives of our winter camp is for children from different countries to build and sustain strong friendships.
5. What To Bring?
Most winter camp organizers arrange excursions and field trips for their campers during their stay in China. Kids are given an opportunity to visit fascinating tourist sites and historical monuments, which allows them to have a closer look at Chinese history and culture. Bearing in mind that most excursions and field trips involve a lot of walking, we would recommend you prepare some sports outfits and comfortable shoes for your kids.
Besides, an appropriate amount of money would also be necessary in case of an emergency. You don’t need to worry too much about such daily necessities as toothbrushes and towels, since they are provided.
Check our full packing list here.
6. Medical Insurance
Of course, no one would want their kids to get sick during their stay in China. Yet in case it ever happens, international medical insurance will be able to cover the majority of treatment costs in China. Sometimes a quality treatment could cost a fortune in China, so getting international medical insurance would serve as a backup for your kids’ happy stay in China.
Have any questions?
Feel free to contact us anytime, our staff is always there to help:
Beijing: +86 10 8448 9799
Shanghai: +86 21 6152 0017