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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Campus
How children of Shenzhen plan their summer holidays
    2017-June-28  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Chen Manqi

mandychen146899@gmail.com

With summer approaching, parents in Shenzhen are seeking the most meaningful way for their children to spend the upcoming holiday. For many, the solution seems to be a mixture of fun and learning by sending them abroad.

While over 40 percent of all Chinese travelers abroad make the trip with their families according to Ctrip, a Chinese online travel agency, more and more parents choose to save expenses and maximize the experience by sending their kids alone.

Study tours and summer schools are two mediums that have gained immense popularity in recent years. According to China Daily, around 100,000 Chinese travel companies offer overseas “study trips” to Chinese students, with institutes spread out across over 200 cities and 100 countries.

Tour fees range from an average of 10,000 yuan (US$1,470) to above 30,000 yuan, depending on the location. Despite being more expensive, study tours to English-speaking countries like Canada, Australia and the United States tend to be the most popular.

During the 10-30 days of the tour, students visit sites, live with host families and take classes at local institutes — commonly courses on finance, English and the SAT. To a lot of parents, the program provides a seamless combination of fun and learning.

“They were able to explore other cultures and grow independently,” commented Li Yong, a finance manager in Shenzhen who recently sent his daughter on an EF study tour to Australia. The tour was recommended to him by another parent.

While he thought the trip worthwhile, exposing his daughter to different cultures and compelling her to face difficulties on her own, Li denied that she was able to learn academically. According to Li, the program did not turn out as perfectly-designed as it was advertised, combining experience with knowledge, and the courses were too rudimentary to be beneficial.

“I mean, why send your kid to Australia when they can have the same classes here in China?” said Li. “My daughter learned personal skills, but not academic.”

When asked what he thought of the cost, the father said: “It’s definitely expensive — over 20,000 yuan — but personally, I think it’s worth it.”

Study tours may expose younger students to other cultures, but for those looking for a more “authentic” overseas experience, a summer school appears to be a better option. Students are able to immerse themselves in native cultures as they share classes and dorms with their local counterparts.

“If you aren’t very fluent in English, definitely go on a study tour,” advised Tong Kairui, a 10th-grader and student at an international school in Shenzhen. “Summer schools can really bring you closer to another culture.”

A frequenter to the United States, Tong has been on organized study tours as well as local summer schools. This summer, she is planning on attending a U.S. summer program again.

“When you are in a summer school, you get to make friends with people not only from China, but from the United States and all over the world,” said Tong.

In addition to becoming more open-minded, Tong has been able to grow academically. “Last year, I studied math for four weeks in a program organized by Duke University,” Tong recalled. “It really provided me with a good base of general knowledge that I can use to help with my studies.”

 

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