Five top overseas study tours for Chinese parents and children
Overseas study tours are gaining popularity with Chinese parents and their children, offering the chance to spend weeks in a foreign country learning about its culture, people and education environment.
Leading mainland study tour agencies say the United States is the favourite destination followed by the United Kingdom, Australia and continental Europe.
The agents say the US is most appealing for its leading education system and diverse culture, while the UK is alluring for quintessentially British lifestyle and universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. Tours that include visits or courses at prestigious campuses are extremely popular.
Here are the top five itineraries for the coming summer break, according to China’s major education tour agencies.
Boston boarding study tour (ages 16 and above)
First stop is San Francisco to visit the University of California at Berkeley and the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge (pictured above), then participants fly south to Los Angeles for a day each at Disneyland and Universal Studios.
The students then fly across the country for an 11-day stay in Boston, one of the oldest cities of the United States and a centre for education and culture, including Harvard University, founded in 1636, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT).
Students are billeted with local families in Boston, and study an ESL (English as an Second Language) course at a local school while experiencing the local lifestyle.
The tour then heads south to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and nearby New York City, then Philadelphia and Washington DC. Highlights of the east coast include the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Fifth Avenue, the Liberty Bell, the University of Pennsylvania, the White House and the US Capitol.
Price: about 45,000 yuan (HK$57,000)
Ten US universities tour (ages 12 and above)
Arriving in San Francisco, students are taken to the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and the University of California at Berkeley.
The following day they visit Stanford University to learn about the academic standards of the second top-rated private university in the Us, before visiting the Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley.
Next stop is Los Angeles (pictured above) where students have two days to enjoy Disneyland, Universal Studios and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, before flying to Boston to visit some of the world’s leading universities including MIT and Harvard.
Other top students, including New York University, Yale University, Columbia University, West Point, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, where students are able to meet with university staffs to learn about application process and academic standard of these universities.
Price: about 37,000 yuan
New York and Los Angeles homestay study tour (ages 12 to 18)
Students on this tour make their first stop in Washington DC (pictured above), with a whole day to learn some points of US history from the White House and the Capitol, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial National Air and Space Museum and American Museum of Natural History, to understand US history and culture with their own eyes.
On the way to New York, students stop in Philadelphia to visit the famous Liberty Bell and the University of Pennsylvania, before travelling to Princeton University in New Jersey. In New York City they visit the Statue of Liberty and Wall Street before arriving in Boston, home to MIT and Harvard.
Leaving the US East Coast, students fly to Los Angeles where they are billeted with local families to learn ESL courses that include visiting supermarkets and attending a Major League Baseball match.
Price: about 40,000 yuan
Homestays in London, France and Switzerland (ages 12 to 22)
Students enjoy six days’ homestay with local families in London (pictured above), attending English classes led by local teachers in the morning, and visits to famous attractions in the city including London Eye, the Palace of Westminster, British Museum, Buckingham Palace and Cambridge University.
Students sample the classic dish, fish and chips, as well as the traditional British afternoon tea.
Next they cross the English Channel to Calais then on to Paris, where students get their feet wet to learn French, and enjoy the amazing views of the Seine and famous Notre Dame de Paris.
Geneva is the first city the students visit in Switzerland, with its charming old town and UN headquarters, before travelling to beautiful mountain village of Mürren, from where students can ride a cable car to the top of the amazing Mount Schilthorn, also known as the James Bond Mountain.
Price: about 36,000 yuan
Vancouver homestay study tour (ages 12 to 13)
The tour starts in Vancouver (pictured above), where students, aged between 12 to 23, stay living with local families for 12 days. They attend English classes in the morning, and enjoy local life in the afternoon.
The beautiful campus of the University of British Columbia offers students a glimpse into the academic environment in Canada, while beach volleyball, badminton and soccer also help them enjoy the sunshine in this west coast sea port.
Students spend at the Whistler ski resort area set among beautiful mountains, and a day at Playland, the city’s biggest amusement park.
At Stanley Park, students can experience the culture of indigenous Canadians, life on local farms a and visit the 180-year-old Fort Langley National Historic Site to understand the history of the second largest country in the world.
Price: about 32,000 yuan