Qingdao Lan Leadership Camp Interviews

Thank you very much for your interest in our summer programmes, it is now our pleasure to invite you to take part in a one-on-one interview with the programme in China that is interested in offering you a place this summer. They have already seen your application documents and think you would be a great fit for their programme. In the interview, they will introduce their programme and ask you more questions about your interests and passion for coming to China. This interview is your opportunity to find out everything you want to know about the programme, so don’t be shy to ask questions!

If you are successful in the interview, your position will be confirmed and you will be put in touch with your team. Those that are successful in this interview will find out their school allocations promptly, and we will advise on booking flights and processing visas. Those that are unsuccessful will still be given a position in China but will need to interview with another programme, delaying slightly their flights and visas.

All of our interviews are conducted through WeChat. Please read about WeChat here, and after downloading it please add your interviewer via the WeChat ID provided below.

Book an interview in 5 steps:

1. Scroll down to the timezone selecting tool, and choose your timezone. Go to the calendar, click on a day and a list of available times will appear.

2. Select your preferred time, input your name, email address and WeChat ID, then click confirm.

3. You should receive a confirmation email notification within 30 minutes, followed by a reminder 24 hours before your interview takes place. If you don’t see these messages, please check your spam folder.

4. Before the interview takes place, please add your interviewer on Wechat, the user ID is mentioned below. If you fail to add the ID before the interview takes place, the interviewer may think that you have forgotten about the interview and cancel your interview.

5. At the time of the interview, if you don’t hear from the interviewer for any reason, please send the interviewer a message on WeChat.

If you have any problems with arranging an interview please email your contact at Gotoco.

For help with WeChat, please follow this link.

Our schedule for November 2017

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Project Information

General Programme Introduction

Introduction to the area where the project takes place

"The city of Qingdao (Tsingtao) in Shandong Province is loaded with modern history which is outlined in depth below. More recently, since 1993 when the eastern half of the city was utterly rebuilt, it has taken on a role of one China’s most open and international cities. Qingdao has a mild, humid climate with a notably hot late summer. Qingdao is great for: beachgoers, with many beautiful beaches; beer connoisseurs, hosting the International Beer Festival every August and home to the internationally famous Tsingtao brewery; and travellers, with many local specialty dishes and attractions. Most famous for being Germany’s 19th century equivalent of Hong Kong - the city is replete with lots of German architecture, linked to this is Qingdao's greatest claim to fame in the West - the famous Tsingtao brand hails from here.

Lonely Planet describes the city as follows:

A breath of crisp sea air for anyone emerging from China’s polluted urban interior, Qingdao is hardly old-school China – parts of town resemble Bavaria – but its effortless blend of German architecture and modern city planning puts Chinese white-tile towns to shame. Its German legacy more or less intact, Qingdao takes pride in its unique appearance: the Chinese call the town ‘China’s Switzerland’. The beaches may be overhyped, the local Putonghua carries a thick accent, and a metro system wouldn’t go amiss, but the dilapidated charms of the hilly old town are captivating and the port city is hosting the sailing events of the 2008 Olympics, prompting a further investment gale into the prosperous town. Wander at will round cobbled, higgledy-piggledy alleys, poke around stoneclad Teutonic vestiges, quaff the famous local brew (Tsingtao) and ditch the diet: Qingdao has some of the best kebabs and seafood in north China.

For history buffs, this is a great city to visit

Before catching the acquisitive eye of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Qingdao was an innocuous fishing village, although its excellent strategic location had not been lost on the Ming, who built a battery here. German forces wrested the port town from the Chinese in 1898 after the murder of two German missionaries, and Qingdao was ceded to Germany for 99 years. Under German rule the famous Tsingtao Brewery opened in 1903, electric lighting was installed, missions and a university were established, the railway to Ji’nan was built, the Protestant church was handing out hymnals by 1908, a garrison of 2000 men was deployed, and a naval base established. In 1914 the Japanese moved into town after the successful joint Anglo-Japanese naval bombardment of the port. Japan’s position in Qingdao was strengthened by the Treaty of Versailles, and they held the city until 1922 when it was ceded back to the Kuomintang. The Japanese returned in 1938, after the start of the Sino-Japanese war, and occupied the town until defeated in 1945. These days, Qingdao is the fourth-largest port in China and the second-largest city in the province of Shandong. Booming industry and an entrepreneurial spirit have successfully carried the city into the 21st century, makingit a clean, modern and thriving town.

Excursion possibilities

In Qingdao

Old Stone Man Beach (石老人浴场), the best beach in town

Old Hong Kong Restaurant (香港老饭店), for dim sum and authentic Hong Kong experience.

Laoshan Pao Hotpot Restaurant (老山炮活鱼锅), who doesn’t like hotpot?

Freeman (自由人), a favorite expat bar.

Further afield

Mount Lao (崂山), site of an over 2,000 year old temple.

Laoshan Beach (崂山浴场), a less frequented beach surrounded by mountains.

Weifang (潍坊), another city in Shandong Province and home to China’s international Kite Festival.

Some recommended further reading

Wikitravel - http://wikitravel.org/en/Qingdao

Travel China Guide - https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/shandong/qingdao/

Lonely Planet - https://www.lonelyplanet.com/china/shandong/qingdao

Photos/Media from previous year's projects

Check out their photos here:


And their intro video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3OQMc1VzUs

If you are given an offer you will be invited to join the facebook group which has last year's participants in it - please see it here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/GotocoQingdao/

Testimonials from previous year's participants

Interviews from 2016 volunteers:









Introduction to this project

School name and location

Lan International Leadership Camp, Qingdao

Name of our contact at the project

Molly Morrison

What is the name of the person that runs the programme

Molly Morrison

Wechat ID for the interviewer


Programme Details


Please don't book an interview if these dates don't work for you, if availability is one or two days out please discuss with the interviewer on Wechat before proceeding to interview.

Start date[s] for projects


End date[s] for projects


Extra information about dates

Lan International is planning 4 camps (7 days each) with a 3-day break between each camp. The same Gotoco participants will attend all 4 camps.

Camp 1: Qingdao青岛营 7.10 – 7.16

Camp 2: Weihai 威海营7.20 – 7.26

Camp 3: Weihai威海营 7.30 – 8.6

Camp 4: Rizhao日照营 8.10 – 8.16

Gotoco participants should arrive at least 3 days before the start of the first camp. Gotoco participants can stay up to 3 days after the end of the last camp.


More info about the project location

Camp 1: Qingdao青岛营 7.10 – 7.16

Qingdao is a “second tier” city of 9 million. As a coastal city, Qingdao has access to beautiful beaches as well as mountains and all the comfort of a modern city.

Camp 2: Weihai 威海营7.20 – 7.26

Camp 3: Weihai威海营 7.30 – 8.6

Weihai is a 2-hour drive from Qingdao. Famous for its clean air and natural environment, Weihai also has access to the beach and a nearby mountain for climbing.

Camp 4: Rizhao日照营 8.10 – 8.16

Rizhao is also a 2-hour drive from Qingdao. Like Weihai, Rizhao also has beaches and mountains.


Some information about student participant numbers

200 students will participate in the 4 camps (50 students/camp). There will be 10 Gotoco participants assigned to each camp, so one Gotoco participant can plan to oversee 5 students/camp.

What age range are the student participants

Students will be 14 – 22 years old. A very small number will have studied or even travelled abroad, but most have never been abroad. They may not have any experience spending time with foreigners so they may feel nervous or shy at first. All the students will have at least a foundational knowledge of English, usually learned in a classroom, but they may have trouble with their speaking and listening skills when outside the classroom. Many of the students plan to continue their education, either by applying to university or postgraduate studies. Some aspire to further their education outside China.

Some information about class/group sizes

Gotoco participants can expect to teach or co-teach 3-4 classes per camp. Most of our camp is structured with a strong emphasis on group work and discussion, so the Gotoco participants will be in a “mentor” role and will help students to learn and express themselves on a personal level, as opposed to standing in front of a classroom.

A brief introduction to this project's student participants

See above for more information on the student situation at our camp

Please provide more information about the student participants stage of learning

Most Chinese students are used to the traditional classroom format and will not be familiar with our style of teaching, but based on experience, they will quickly adapt. Their English levels will vary considerably, but all students will have at least a foundational knowledge of English.

How many other Gotoco participants will be joining this programme

13 will be invited to join these projects

Information about level of the project's permanent staff's bilingualism and English speaking abiliity

In addition to camp leadership, we will have at least 5 bilingual teaching assistants and 5 CITs/per camp (counsellors in training, students who have experience participating in previous camps, demonstrate high English levels, and leadership qualities).


What information will Gotoco participants be offered before arrival

We will provide Gotoco participants with a detailed schedule of activities and a volunteer handbook before arrival. We will also prepare trainings on preparing class material and introductory knowledge of China for Gotoco participants to be shared on WeChat before the participants arrive.

Will the Gotoco participants receive any additional training on arrival

Yes. We will do most of our training before the camp via WeChat and we will have a training day before the first camp starts. We will also have camp leadership on hand and heavily involved for the first days of camp to ensure that the Gotoco students are well informed about the structure of the camp and the daily activities.


How will time off work for Gotoco participants

After 7 days of camp, Gotoco participants will have 3 days to relax and do as they wish.

How many hours will Gotoco participants be on the projects each day

Our camp is an overnight camp so they are technically “working” for 24 hours. That means that Gotoco participants cannot leave the camp grounds and they need to demonstrate responsible behaviour and abide by rules at all times. That said, they can expect to teach a formal class less than one hour each day and to lead groups for 7 – 8 hours/day.

How will Gotoco participants be organised and informed about schedules

All the schedules will be set before the start of the first camp. We will provide the schedule to the Gotoco participant as soon as s/he is selected.

Who will be the main contact person for Gotoco participants

The main contacts in China will be Barbara (nearly native), Molly (native), and Nathan (very good).

Please provide more information about what the Gotoco participants will help with

The classes will consist of discussion-based learning and challenging ideas. Gotoco participants will engage students by tackling pressing global and environmental issues and help prepare students to become better thinkers and leaders. All the classes will be taught in English. Gotoco participants are not expected to teach English as a subject.

Will the project involve any outdoor or cultural activities

Each 7-day camp will include at least 5 outdoor activities. We will offer hiking, a boat trip, a trip to a rural village, sports, building sand sculptures, and a trip to a farm.


What is your project's mission

This camp began as a way for students to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the world and to help them to be part of the solution by becoming tomorrow's leaders. We want to bring people together from different walks of life and let them share stories and help to create a stronger sense of global citizenship. Our programme breaks out of the traditional classroom and strives to create a learning environment that is engaging, creative, and unique.

Accommodation Arrangements

What type of accommodation will the Gotoco participants be hosted in

They will stay with a host family before, between, and after camps.

During the camps, they will stay in the student housing on the camp grounds.

Will Wifi etc be available

We have not yet booked accommodation so it is not guaranteed, but it is likely that they will have Wifi.

How close is accommodation to the project

The host family house will be near the pick up/drop off location for the camp. When the Gotoco participants are at camp, we will have a bus to transport them.

Will Gotoco participants share accommodation?

They probably won't live together (unless requested) while staying with the host family. They will share a room while at the camp, as the students will also be sharing rooms.

Food and Conditions

How will the meals be provided to Gotoco participants

The Gotoco participants will eat with the host families or at the camp. No stipend will be needed.

Will there be food provided for vegetarian Gotoco participants

Vegetarian food is not be guaranteed. We will probably not accept a vegetarian participant, unless the person is flexible or willing to make preparations for his/herself.

Will you be able to cater to Gotoco participants with food allergies

This will be difficult because we have many campers and we will have many other considerations. We would need to decide how to handle this situation on a case-by-case basis.

Will the Gotoco participants have access to shops/restaurants to purchase food and other things?

While with the host families, yes. While at camp, we cannot guarantee this because we don't allow campers to leave the camp grounds unless it is an extenuating circumstance.

Cultural Exchange

Will other cultural activities be offered?

We will have at least 4 hours of formal culture exchange lessons. We will visit a tea farm and visit other notable places in the area, as well as visiting rural communities to learn more about the lifestyle.

Will Mandarin lessons be offered?

During the camp, we will provide at least 4 hours of formal Mandarin lessons. Language practice while at the host family's is, of course, unlimited.


Can you offer airport/train station pickup

The host family will pick up the Gotoco participants from the airport.

The host family will be responsible for transportation during the participants' stay.

While at camp, participants will be transported by the camp bus.

Can you help them to travel onwards to Yangshuo or get them to airports to return home at the end of the project

Host families will be responsible for taking the Gotoco participants to the airport or train station.