Why China is the best destination for your summer abroad
China is probably not the first place to come to mind when thinking of your next summer destination. Especially if you’re considering spending a summer abroad to work as a camp counsellor, you’re probably most likely to think of a trip to the USA. But China is both interesting and unique -- and you’re certainly likely to be the first out of your group of friends to head there.
Certainly more of a challenging destination than English-speaking countries, a visit to China can be incredibly rewarding and character building. Somewhere many people wouldn’t even consider a trip to, China is the ultimate cultural treat. Open your eyes and let yourself in to the Chinese way of life!
A (Positive) Culture Shock
As you might expect, China brings a whole host of cultural differences. From the language to general daily behaviour, Eastern customs may seem very unusual to most Western visitors. Going with an open mind is highly recommended and learning to expect the unexpected is the best way to approach a trip to China. Depending on the areas you choose to visit, Chinese people are generally very welcoming towards tourists and enjoy the opportunity to exchange language differences and national customs.
Steeped in ancient history, China is home to many traditions from tea ceremonies and tai chi to visual arts and philosophy. Many tourist routes will allow you to really involve yourself in these traditions, gaining a direct insight during and after summer camp as to what it’s really like to live like a Chinese person in current and past times. Even daily customs like eating with chopsticks and the preference to eat around a circular table may seem odd at first -- but after a while, you’ll fit right in with the locals!
Travelling across China is a complete delight for landmark-lovers, with awe-inspiring hotspots like the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Bund skyline and Zhangjiajie National Park to get you started. Get ready for adventure and choose your travel route wisely to make the most of visiting the most famous sites across this huge destination. Wherever you go in this incredible country, you’re bound to be spoilt for choice when it comes to local cultural destinations. Most Chinese towns and cities will have temples, shrines and beautifully eclectic architecture at almost every corner.
Chinese people place cooking and food in very high regard. With the combination of every flavour, texture and scent you could possibly think of, Chinese cuisine found in authentic restaurants is very different to what you might find at your local takeaway.
Brimming with interesting ingredients, delicious food can be found at markets, street stalls and in many cafes and restaurants. Certain districts, such as the Sichuan province, are famous for particularly spicy dishes. So sharpen up your tastebuds and get ready for a sizzling hot pot!
Still a relatively new concept in China, families are beginning to really welcome the idea of cultural exchange and new experiences. Traditional summer camps are generally quite strict and formal, with less emphasis on children having fun and, well, just being children. International summer camps such as those in the Adventure China programme are more adaptable to English-speaking staff, and the opportunity to share language and cultural knowledge through teaching is really valued for the development of children. This makes for an overall highly fulfilling experience for international camp counsellors to spend a summer abroad, creating a fun environment where both children and adults are able to learn from each other.
Truly the BEST destination
China really does have a bit of everything and definitely something for everyone. The culture, the sites, the food and the people are almost guaranteed to win you over somewhere along the way. Enriching on a personal level, a summer spent in China will stay with you for the rest of your life. Everyday spent there will bring something completely new and exciting -- and your trip there will be sure to impress and inspire those around you. Your travel plans after summer camp can also offer a whole host of opportunities, with cheap and easy access to other tempting destinations in South East Asia. Why not take a chance and head to the East for your next summer abroad!