Alumni Spotlight: Matthew Aubrey

Mathew was born in Australia. He is studying in Ascham School. His second language is Chinese.

Why did you choose this program?

My parents’ friend recommends this Chinese summer camp. According to him, this summer camp is the only real immersion Chinese summer camp in Shanghai because this is the only one which is held in China’s university for under 18 years old. And we can stay inside the campus during the whole camp because the accommodation place is also inside. It’s high quality campus hotel, 4-star standard; the condition is much better than others I have been to.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

After application, a staff contacted my parents to explain all the process we need to prepare before I departed. And they answered each of our questions very carefully, so my parents did not feel worried.

When I arrived in Shanghai, a staff picked me up at the airport and sent me directly to the campus to settle me in. At the welcome dinner, the lead counselor gave us an orientation session to explain our schedule in the next two weeks, as well as details of each activity.

We had counselor team to help us with any problem we met during the whole camp. They took good care of us so that we did not have any difficulty to live alone abroad. The only thing we have to do is to respect the daily schedule and study hard.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

If you really want to improve your Chinese level, the RISH Chinese summer camp is a smart choice. My advice is that you should take advantage to practice your Chinese as much as possible, because you are fully immersed in a Chinese native speaker environment: your teachers, counselors, as well as college students in the university. The college students are kind, helpful, and willing to chat with you. You have to speak with them in Chinese as much as you can, so that you will make great progress in short time.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

In the morning, we have breakfast, then we have three-hour intensive classes. After that, we have lunch together and we have break time. After lunch break, we have indoor study for 1.5 hour and outdoor activity for 1.5 hour. After that, we have dinner, followed by 1-on-1 tutoring, and homework time. In some of the afternoons we have excursions, so after lunch break we go directly for outing. Around 22:15 we have to go to bed.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear is that I cannot adapt to a strange environment, because it is the first time to leave home and travel alone, for two weeks. When I arrived at the summer camp, I did not know anyone. But I was surprised that we became good friends so quickly. And we became a real team so that we did not feel unaccustomed any more.