The world's first completely virtual, live-streamed and interactive program that enables students to travel and explore key destinations in China and also gain an intimate orientation of society and culture – all from the comfort of their homes/schools.
A unique experience that is both educational as well as entertaining, the program aims to create a passion and engagement for China. Besides exploring incredible destinations, students will be able to gain a first-hand insight into Chinese society, its history, art forms, architecture, cuisine and etiquettes.
The program consists of ten 90 minute online sessions held over ten weekends and are immersive and interactive, enabling students to ask questions in real time helping them cement learning.
We understand that to create an inclusive global community, it is important to address unconscious bias and stereotypes as part of early learning. The program is specifically curated to go beyond external characteristics and fosters one-one-one communications with locals that highlight our shared commonalities. Every session is a combination of a tour of a different destination with an interactive part where children will get involved in activities that acquaint them with the local culture.
- Spans 10 ninety minute sessions over 10 Saturdays.
- Live-streamed sessions which can be fully accessed from home or school.
- Tours include; The Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors, Grand Tang Mall, Shanghai downtown, Yu Gardens, Yangshuo & Dragon rice terraces.
- Activities include Calligraphy, Peking Opera, Shaolin martial arts, Kung Fu Tea ceremony and Cuisine class.
- Includes one-on-one interactions with a family, school children and in a local market.
- Includes time spent in a corporate work place to learn etiquettes.
- Flexible (can be taken year-round)
Session 1: Beijing - Great wall of China
7 am to 8.30 am GMT
Today children will take a walking tour of the awe- inspiring Great Wall of China and learn why it rightfully finds its place amongst the 7 ancient wonders of the world.
With some sections dating back two thousand years, the imposing wall is actually a series of walls that were built across the northern borders of Imperial China as a form of defence against various nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe. Besides defence, other purposes of the wall included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road and regulation of trade.
While the great wall can be visited in 15 Chinese provinces and autonomous regions, the best place to visit it is in Beijing.
Children will take a walking tour of a section of the wall with our subject matter expert and guide and learn about its rich history.
In the second part of today's session, children will meet and spend time with a local Chinese family. This is a unique opportunity for children to learn about the typical family structure in China besides learning about traditions and day to day life. Children will be able to explore shared values and gain a personal insight into life in China.
Session 2: Beijing – Tour of the Forbidden City/ Talk on History of China through the ages.
7 am to 8.30 am GMT
On today’s tour, children will visit the fascinating Forbidden city, located in the heart of Beijing. The magnificent city is steeped in history and has been home to twenty four emperors, who lived here for a span of 500 years – during which time it was closed off to the world. The city was built over 14 years from 1406 to 1420 by the third Ming emperor Yongle and subsequently was home to emperors from both the Ming and Qing dynasties. In 1911 the Qing dynasty fell to the republican revolutionaries. The last emperor, Puyi, continued to live in the palace after his abdication until he was expelled in 1924.
Today the awe inspiring place is open to the world and leaves behind a treasure of clues to the rich history of China. Most of the buildings are empty with its contents being removed to various museums. However, on this walking tour , children will gain a detailed insight into the history and architecture of the glorious bygone period through the many stories and customs of the emperors who lived here.
Surrounded by imperial parks and monolithic museums the Forbidden city is a visit of a lifetime and a great lesson in history.
Session 3: Xian – Terracotta Warriors
7 am to 8.30 am GMT
Any travel to China would be incomplete without a visit to see the iconic Terracotta army- inarguably the most significant archaeological discovery of the 20th century.
Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC),Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, began work on a royal tomb. Also credited for the Great Wall, Qing was a visionary emperor but one whose regime was cruel and severe. He was overthrown by the Han dynasty who then continued to rule for the next 400 years.
The tombs remained a secret for centuries before some peasants digging for a well in 1974 discovered some old pottery which caught the attention of archaeologists who descended in droves to extend the digs. What was revealed was a discovery of such a scale that its treasures are still being unearthed today During the years of excavation, rank after rank of life sized terracotta warriors were discovered. Each built uniquely over 2000 years ago, the warriors were meant to guard the royal tombs.
On this spellbinding your children will visit the site and view the warriors around the edges of a large pit. This is another lesson in China’s rich history .
In the second part of this session, students will enjoy a Calligraphy demonstration from an expert. Calligraphy finds a very important place in Chinese culture since ancient times and is ranked alongside poetry as a means of self expression.
Session 4: Xian – Visit the Great Tang Mall
10 am to 11.30 am GMT
Today, children will visit the Great Tang Mall- the longest pedestrian street in Asia.
Xian served as the capital of the glorious Tang dynasty. The modern Grand Tang Mall was built to reflect its rich heritage while also being a centre of entertainment
and culture. The mall is very popular with youngsters and families and offers a recreational yet educational experience. The streets are lined with buildings reflecting the splendid architecture of the Tang Dynasty, while the trees are decorated with LED strips making it a sight to cherish at night. One can enjoy various street performances here and also indulge in street food and shopping. One of the most popular performances here is the Tumbler performance. If you are lucky, you will interact with a famous performer in Tang costume, who enthrals visitors with her fairy like dances.
In the second part of this session, an artisan will give you an insight into the Peking opera- the most dominant form of Chinese opera combining music, dance, mime, acrobatics and vocals. Originating in Beijing in the Qing dynasty, the Peking opera gained recognition in the mid 19th century and is an impressive part of the culture. Learn about the nuances of this elegant art form.
Session 5: Shanghai – The Bund & Nanjing Road/ Visit an Office
8 am to 9.30 am GMT
On today’s tour we take children to downtown Shanghai where they will get an insight into life in one of China’s most iconic modern cities. The Bund is a fantastic walkway along the river Huangpu and the most famous place in Shanghai. With buildings from the 19th and early 20th century, at the Bund you can see the changes in Shanghai that developed over more than a 100 years.
You will see the Oriental Pearl Tower’s trademark sphere that glitters like a disco ball. As we walk along the Bund, you will spot a large domed-building beside the Big Ben-inspired Clock Tower. The Clock Tower is fully functional even today and chimes the tune of a regional Communist song every fifteen minutes.
Towards the latter part of the tour, we take you across the road, to Shanghai’s most popular street – Nanjing Road. You will visit a local super market and also encounter unique street snacks like skewered meat/tofu on sticks, frozen yogurt, waffle cone ice creams with a variety of toppings, sticky rice treats and the famous Rabbit candy
In the second part of this tour, we will visit and spend time at the offices of a local company in Shanghai.
Through interactions with professionals, you will gain an insight into the work etiquettes & do's and dont's when working with Chinese companies.
Session 6: Shanghai – Yu Gardens / Bargain in a local market
8 am to 9.30 am GMT
Today we will visit the spell-binding Yu gardens located beside the city god temple in the northeast of the Old city in Shanghai. The garden was completed in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) named Pan Yunduan. (Yu in Chinese translates to ‘pleasing’ and legend has it that it was built for Pan’s parents as a place for them to enjoy a quiet time during their old age).
As we walk through this16th-century garden you will discover a maze of colourful pavilions, ponds, stone dragons, arching trees, and flowers, surrounding a bridge. It is one of China's finest examples of Ming Dynasty gardens and architecture.
After visiting the garden, we will cross over to visit a market in the old town. Lose yourself in the narrow winding alleys and explore the many local bazaars You will hold conversations with shop keepers and practise your bargaining skills, guided by our local expert. This can be a proper shopping trip as you will have the opportunity to buy souvenirs for your friends and families. All you need to do is haggle and settle on the best price with the shopkeepers, and we will have the item posted out to you in the UK.
Session 7: Chengdu – Panda Breeding Centre/ King Fu Session
8 am to 9.30 am GMT
The Giant Pandas are not just a Chinese national treasure but are also adored world-wide. On today’s tour we take you to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in Chengdu where you will get up and close to these endearing creatures. There are 2000 or fewer Giant pandas of which 70% are found in the Sichuan province. The research and breeding centre spread over 92 acres, has been created to imitate the natural habitat to help preserve this endangered species. The centre also cares for rare, endangered wild animals
You will watch an interesting short film, providing you behind-the-scenes insights into the breeding program. You will then walk around the centre with our local expert to try and spot some Pandas.Giant pandas, lesser pandas, black-necked cranes, white storks as well as over 20 species of rare animals are fed and bred there throughout the year. Verdant bamboo, bright flowers, fresh air, a natural hill scene and a beautiful artificial view are merged ingeniously at the base.
In the second part of this session, you will be able to enjoy a King Fu demonstration by an expert trained at the famous Shaolin temple. Pick up a few moves that you can impress your friends with.
Session 8: Visit a Tea House & play Mahjong / Learn Calligraphy
9 am to 10.30 pm
No discussion on Chinese culture can be complete without touching upon the tea house scene in the country. The tea house culture originated during the Song dynasty and spread to villages and cities around the country. During the Ming & Qing dynasties, they steadily grew in popularity with the number of tea houses exceeding restaurants. Tea house owners in the Song dynasty preferred to decorate them with calligraphy, paintings and indoor plants. As China progressed into modernity, the tea houses also adapted to the new tastes of customers. The basic culture remains the same, however. In the winters tonics to keep the body warm are added to the tea while in the summers cold drinks and innovative concoctions including sweet bean paste, plum water and papaya juice find themselves in the mix.On today’s tour we will visit a tea house to experience the local culture, firsthand. You will also get up and close to locals engaging in the popular game of Mahjong.
In the second part of today's session children will be able to witness a Kung-Fu tea master in action. Yes you read this right. This is a martial arts influenced way of pouring tea. Kung Fu literally means 'involving great skill ' and this ceremony is testament to why this art earned its name.
Session 9: Visit picturesque Yangshuo/ Sing Folk songs with villages
9 am to 10.30 pm
Since Lonely Planet magazine first introduced Guilin province's Yangshuo to the rest of the world, travellers have thronged to experience its dreamlike landscapes. While the main towns have subsequently become touristy, the best way to experience the stunning scenery is to take a walk or bike ride along the Li river starting in Guilin. Karst limestone hills rise above bamboo covered plains here. On this tour you will venture into local villages and farms and get an insight into the simple life.
Whist the distinctive geography gives Yangshuo its scenic beauty, 1400 years of history and the diverse ethnic minorities here impart a unique cultural flavour.
In the second part of this session, students will interact and spend time with local children.This is a unique opportunity to foster one-on-one communication between children from two nations. They will have the chance to quiz each other about their schools and discuss various topics, forming a long-term bond.
Session 10: Dragon Rice / Sing Folk songs with villages
9 am to 10.30 pm
In the concluding tour of this series, we will visit the breath-taking rice terraces in Guilin. Located southeast of the Longsheng County, a vast region of rice terraces stretches layer upon layer, coiling around from the base of Longji (the dragon's backbone) Mountain to its summit. They are called the ‘Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces’.
It is said of this area that 'where there is soil, there is a terrace', be it in the valley with its swift flowing rivers or the mountainous summits with their swirling cloud cover. Even though the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces are spread over a large acreage , it is made up of smaller patches of no more than 1 mu (a traditional unit of area in China, roughly one-sixth an acre). Marvel at this system of agriculture on today's tour and learn about the traditions of the local farmers.
In the second part of today’s session you will take part in a cookery lesson conducted by a local chef who will teach you to make some authentic Chinese dishes.You will be given the list of ingredients beforehand so you can participate in a cook-along under the guidance of the chef.