Arnold is studying in Shrewsbury International School in Thailand. He likes studying different languages and culture. He has been studying Chinese since 6 years.
Why did you choose this program?
RISH Chinese summer camp is a professional and famous immersion summer camp in China. My parents find them on the internet, and asked a lot of questions before enroll, and the communication with their staff communicated was very smooth.
Since the Chinese language is my second language in the school, my parents want to me to learn and improve my Chinese in a full immersion Chinese Summer Camp, and at the same time develop my ability to live independently.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
First of all, RISH’s staff will provide me necessary documents to apply for Chinese visa. One month before the start date of the camp, they will send us a packing checklist, as well as the airport pick up guide. On the first day and last day of the camp, camp staff will take care of airport pick up and drop off.
The lead counsellor gave us an orientation session on the first day we arrived at the campus. The presentation was every detailed, so most of us did not have any more questions after her explanation. What I have to organize on my own is to wake up on time and respect the daily schedule and enjoy all activities, classes and trip.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
There is a lot of rain in Shanghai in the month of June, so you should bring rain gear if you enroll a session in June. Since the beginning of July, the temperature goes up very quickly with a lot of sunshine, so sunscreen is also necessary.
Don’t spend all your pocket money on buying snacks in the convenient store. During the field trip to Hangzhou, for example, the hometown of Chinese green tea, you really have to buy some as souvenir or gift.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
In the morning, we have breakfast in the hotel. Then we go to classroom until about 12:00, we have break and snack time between every class. Then we have lunch and we can go back to room to have break.
In the afternoon, we have themed language practice workshops for about 2 hours, then Chinese culture course (like history, brush painting, calligraphy, Tai-Chi etc...) or sports. After that we have dinner, then 1-on-1 tutoring to practice Chinese oral. After that is home work session. Then we have free time, until lights off and room check at 22:00.
Sometimes in the afternoon there is outing activities, so after lunch break, we have city tour excursion and dinner outside.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
This is my first time to go abroad alone. I have to take flight by myself. But I have a lot of experiences traveling with my family, so I am familiar with that. Maybe for younger kids the biggest fear is to travel alone. Airline companies can provide UM service for the kids. After arriving in China, RISH’s staff was already waiting me just outside the custom exit, holding a board that I have already known from the airport pick up guide they sent to me before.
In the campus, two students share a room. My roommate is also the first time to leave the family alone. But I think during the whole camp there is nothing to worry about. Room attendants clean up our room every day. Our clothes are collected and washed regularly. The camp counsellors are very helpful. They live with us during the whole camp so there are always ready to solve our problems and answer any question. They are always encouraging us to speak Chinese in everyday life.