joined our projects in Lan International Scouting Camp, Qingdao
Please you us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?

Some specific moments during the camp that were enjoyable included a competition during which teams had to build the tallest structure using spaghetti and marshmallows, and the talent show when the campers were able to share their talents such as playing instruments. Also being able to chat with the campers in between activities and eat meals together in teams were good moments. I enjoyed spending time with my host family experiencing Qingdao and the excursions with the camp to many places such as the festival.

Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?

I studied art at university, and during the camp I was able to host the art sessions with the campers, this was a highlight for me. It was a joy to show the campers a few methods for shading and measuring, and to experiment with some abstract drawing exercises. An excursion that was a highlight for me was visiting the Olympic Sailing Centre to swim and dive. It is a beautiful setting, and a great day of activities to first meet the campers.

How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?

This placement helped me to realise that some form of teaching or working with children is something I aim to pursue in the future. The program is a great opportunity to work for a significant amount time within a new field. Being able to experience elements of teaching alongside organising and activity planning was a great way to begin to develop a new and rounded set of skills. During the placement we were also able to make connections with the camp members and directors as well as the families we lived with, which created a rich exchange and network.

What was the best thing about your experience in China?

The best part about my experience in China was staying with a host family. The families I stayed with made the experience so unique, giving me an insight into Chinese culture that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. They were incredibly generous and kind; I would recommend staying with a host family to anyone visiting China if they had the opportunity. Being able to share in meals, conversation and sightseeing with a family who lives in China, as well as exchanging culture and language made my time in Qingdao very rich.

Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?

I would recommend participating in a Gotoco placement to a friend. Gotoco programs provide the opportunity to travel to an incredible and interesting part of the world, and to be part of a really important cultural exchange. Gotoco creates the opportunity to really experience and live in China for a substantial amount of time, whilst working and living amongst people from China and many other parts of the world. I think that programs like this create important relationships across many countries and individually provide an opportunity to develop skills within the field of teaching.