FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABOUT OUR OVERSEAS SUMMER CAMPS/STUDY TOURS

The following is a summary of Frequently Asked Questions over the years.
It contains a lot of information, we have therefore divided it into 4 sections to make it easier for you to find the information you need:

A. General - questions related to our summer camps / study tours in general, as well as our experience
B. Programme - questions related to the learning, activity and cultural programmes
C. Accommodation & Welfare - questions related to accommodation, meals, supervision and health
D. Travel - questions related to escorted and individual travel arrangements

We hope that you will find this information useful and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require - please contact us at summercamps@hklanguages.com or call us on 2877 6160.

 

A. GENERAL



1- How long has your Institute been organising overseas summer camps?

We have been organising overseas summer camps since 1992.

2- How is Hong Kong Institute of Languages different from the other summer camps providers?

The first and most significant difference is that we are a professional language institute. Therefore our aim and primary motivation is: to offer the ultimate language study programmes

We see our summer camps as an extension of the language services that we offer in Hong Kong. We aim to help both parents and children discover that learning a language is more than getting a good grade at school; it is about being able to communicate with others, and therefore a very unique tool to be mastered for the difference that it could make to one's life.

We also aspire to transform each child's attitude towards language learning, helping him/her to understand that learning a language can be enjoyable, even in a situation when you are exposed to it throughout the day. The wonder of it all is that it really works.

3- Nowadays, there seem to be so many camps available on the market. What are the main differences between your camps and those offered by other providers?

  • The first and most significant difference is that we are a professional language institute. As such, we are in the privileged position of being about to fully guarantee that all the schools that we have chosen to partner are also true professionals in the language teaching field, and that they offer the highest level of quality of language tuition. I believe that we are the only ones on the market who offer a guarantee of results.
  • Secondly, we also offer a true and total immersion in the target language. For one thing, we are the exclusive agent for most camps that we represent, which means that we are in the privileged position of being able to monitor and limit the number of children from Hong Kong taking part in our camps at any time. This ensures that in each of our camps, every child benefits from a real multinational environment with the opportunity to practise the target language at all times. Our partnering schools even go as far as to arrange for children to share rooms with other children, of the same age, but of different nationalities. This ensures that their common language of communication is the language that they have come on camp to learn.
  • Thirdly, we offer a full-day programme. Our language acquisition programme does not stop after the morning lessons, it continues throughout the day by way of all the sports, recreational and cultural activities that we offer in the afternoons and in the evenings ~ sports and activities that are held in the target language so as to enable your child to re-use what has been learnt in class in the morning in a real life situation, therefore promoting the spontaneous and natural use of the language. From the time he/she gets up to the time that he/she goes to sleep, everything is done to provide your child with countless opportunities to communicate in the target language.
  • All our group fees are fully inclusive. This means that there are no hidden costs. Our fees include everything: return airfare on major airlines: such as Air France, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair; transfers and taxes; residential accommodation; three nutritious meals a day; language tuition fees; sports coaching; activities; excursions; all entrance fees; travel insurance; 24-hour supervision, and accompaniment by a HKIL member of staff. All your child needs to bring is a little pocket money to buy a souvenir!
  • All our camps provide the highest levels of safety ~ an extremely important factor for parents to consider. All children are fully supervised around the clock, with a high ratio of personnel to children. In addition, most of our camps' facilities, such as the accommodation, the dining room, the classrooms, the sports grounds, are usually all situated on the schools' own compounds: within walking distance from one another.
  • In addition, we offer a very strong local consultancy service. Our summer camp consultants are fully trained to provide parents with the most detailed and accurate information on each camp, and to offer truly personalised advice ensuring that each child is registered in the camp most suited to his/her needs and areas of interest. Furthermore, our consultancy service does not end when your child boards the aeroplane, it continues until he/she returns safely home. We follow-up on each child while they are at camp, liaise regularly with the school, our staff on site, and each child's family, so as to ensure that your child is having the experience of a lifetime ~ an experience that is positive, memorable and highly enriching.
  • Last but not least, we also believe that we are the only providers to offer a FREE post-summer camp workshop coordinated by a qualified and experienced native teacher. Every year we invite all students who have attended our summer camps to join a 8-hour workshop, corresponding to their summer camp.
    The main aim is to provide your child with an added opportunity to put his/her newly acquired language skills to use, and to contribute to a meaningful project: a post summer camp journal, describing his/her experience on camp and how he/she has benefited from it ~ something with which he/she will be able to remember his/her experience. This workshop also provides our summer camp participants with the perfect occasion to see their new friends again.
    A copy of the journal will be presented to you during our post summer camp get-together/party when we invite your child and your family to join us for a celebration, and your child will receive his/her certificate/report.

4- Some of your fees seem higher than those of other camp providers. Why?

Firstly, we only partner schools that are fully accredited by the relevant authorities in their country, and which offer the highest level of service:

  • quality language tuition delivered only by qualified and experienced professionals (and not by young students hired as teachers for the summer, as it is the case at some camps);
  • intensive language learning ~ most of our camps comprise a minimum of 20 lessons (or 15 hours) of formal language tuition per week, although some offer up to 30 lessons (or 20 hours) per week;
  • small classes made up of an average of 8-12 students so as to provide each child with the maximum attention, and with ample opportunity to participate actively in class;
  • the highest level of security and safety ~ children are fully supervised around the clock, with a high ratio of personnel to children. Every member of the welfare staff is fully qualified;
  • excellent self-contained facilities ~ most of our camps offer self-contained facilities which means that children do not have to travel off campus to attend their sports lessons or recreational activities. Again this is an additional guarantee of security and safety;
  • clean, comfortable, spacious residential accommodation ~ residential accommodation is usually a lot more costly than homestay as the school has to hire qualified welfare staff to supervise the children 24 hours a day, cleaning staff, security staff, cooks, etc. Instead of a light packed lunch provided by the host family, students staying at a residential camp enjoy three hot meals a day, which is a far healthier option. All of these services come at a higher fee.

Secondly, we only travel on major airlines such as Air France, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair. Such airlines rarely grant cut-rate fares over the busy summer period, even to groups (in fact they will not let groups benefit from their special low fares which they reserve for a limited number of individuals on each plane, or children's fares), but they offer the invaluable advantage of providing direct flights, confirmed bookings, and of being far more reliable.

Thirdly, we offer a full-day programme. Our programme starts with the morning lessons, and continues throughout the day by way of all the sports, recreational and cultural activities that we offer in the afternoons and in the evenings. This option is again a lot more costly than taking the children on a tour each afternoon. To run a sport and recreational activities programme requires facilities, equipment, qualified sports coaches, activity leaders, supervision, etc. Again all of these extra services come at a higher fee.

Lastly, all our group fees are fully inclusive. This means that there are no hidden costs. Our fees, unlike those of certain other providers, include absolutely everything from the return airfare right through to all entrance fees during excursions. Some camp providers will charge you for so many extras that in the end their programme may well cost you a lot more than you were originally led to believe.

When comparing fees, ensure that you really examine all the programmes details, and understand clearly what is included in the price and what is not!  

5- Does HKIL accept registrations from students outside Hong Kong?

Yes. We do accept students from outside Hong Kong. Each year, we register students from various parts of the world, such as China, Japan, Singapore, U.K., France, etc. Since all our programmes are available with or without airfare, it is very easy for anyone to join us from another country. If your child is joining one of our camps from abroad, we will arrange for him/her to join us either at the airport or at the school, or arrange with the school for an individual pick up at the airport.

6- How do you choose the destinations for your camps?

Each camp is rigorously selected to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety. All our schools are fully accredited by the relevant authorities in the country where the camp is being held, both for the quality of language tuition that they offer and for the levels of security and welfare that they provide. In choosing our destinations, we also take into consideration what we believe will be the best environment for the child ~ which is why all our locations not only offer the very best in terms of facilities and quality of services, but are also situated in beautiful, spacious locations.

All our summer camps provide:

  • Full linguistic immersion
  • Top-quality language tuition delivered by qualified, experienced professionals
  • Low student to teacher ratio
  • Exceptional venues with outstanding facilities
  • Varied and exciting sports and cultural programmes
  • Clean, comfortable, spacious accommodation
  • Separate accommodation/buildings for boys and girls
  • 24-hour supervision and immediate individual attention when necessary
  • Host families carefully chosen to provide the most caring and secure environment

7- What facilities are on offer on the school campuses?

In addition to spacious, comfortable, clean residential houses, our campuses normally offer bright and well equipped classrooms, a computer / language lab, a restaurant or cafeteria, a swimming pool, a dance studio, a gymnasium, as well as sports fields and tennis courts. Some schools also offer a library, a theatre, rock climbing walls, etc.

8- What is the ideal length of time for my child to attend a summer camp / study tour?

We usually recommend children to attend for 2 or 3 weeks. This amount of time is ideal when the child is going on camp for the first time, and/or when you want to plan a family holiday either before or after the camp. A 4-week camp can sometimes be a little too long for a child to stay in the same place, though we also have quite a number of children choosing to stay for 4 or even 6 weeks, or to attend two different camps for 2 or 3 weeks each, but these are most often returnees. Of course, the longer the stay, the greater the potential progress!

9- Will my child get homesick?

It is usually the parents who become "child sick" rather than the children homesick. For most children, the first night away from home is the hardest. After 2-3 days your child will become fully accustomed to his/her new life, and will be so busy having a good time that he/she will not have much time to think about home and be homesick. In fact, we often get complaints from parents that they do not have any news from their child. We consider this as a very positive sign - as if your child does not feel the need to call home, it means that he/she is very happy, and this is a sign of success.

We ask all children to call their parents upon arrival so as to let them know that they have arrived safely, after that, we leave it up to each child to call his/her parents again as and when he/she feels the need.

10- I would like to accompany my child. Will it be possible for me to stay on the camp with my child? Will I have the opportunity to take language lessons myself?

Most of our schools also run specific programmes for adults. So the chances of you being able to attend your own language classes are very high. However most camps will recommend that you arrange your own accommodation elsewhere and only meet from time to time, so as not to disrupt your child's own life, and experience at camp.

Exceptionally, our camp in Beijing offers the chance for parents and children to join the camp together, whereby parents can participate in the excursions, and if they wish to, also arrange their own private Mandarin classes.

We also offer special family holiday programmes in France, where each of you can attend your own language classes in the mornings, then share activities and excursions in the afternoons, evenings and at weekends. Our special family holiday programme in Provence also makes provision for you and your child to stay at a hotel together.

11- My child is 7 years old. Is he/she too young to go on a summer camp?

If your child is 7, outgoing and keen to go, then there is no reason why he/she should not go on a camp. In addition to improving his/her language skills, going on a camp will help your child to develop his/her social and interpersonal skills, and to become more confident and independent. So going on a camp at such a young age could be the best thing that you do for your child - provided that he/she is happy to go of course.

Just make sure that you choose the right camp, appropriate for his/her age and areas of interest, and providing the correct facilities and care for his/her age.

At HKIL we have different camps to suit different needs and requirements. Before you register your child with us, we always take the time to provide you with detailed information on the best options for your child. We will even go so far as to put you in contact with the parents of children who have attended our previous camps, so that you can make an informed choice and rest assured that your child will be in good hands and well cared for throughout the camp.

12- My child is 17 years old. I would like to send him/her on a summer camp. How can I be sure that the camp I choose will be appropriate for his/her age group?

If your child is 17, it is important that you choose a camp that not only caters for his/her age group, but also offers the kind of sports and activities that he/she enjoys. At HKIL we have different camps to suit different needs and requirements, with separate programmes for juniors (6-12) and teens (13-18). Moreover, though all our camps offer 24-hour supervision, some offer a little more of the freedom which teenagers need, subject to prior parental consent. 

When you register your child for a camp, we will find out more about your child, his/her areas of interest, the sports and activities that he/she likes, and the amount of freedom that you would like your child to enjoy, so that you can make the right choice and be assured that he/she will have a safe and enjoyable time.

13- I think I'd like to send my child on a summer camp but I am not quite sure. What should I do?

If you are serious about your child's language studies, sending him/her on a summer camp is one of the best things you could do. There is no better way to make rapid progress and change the way your child views language study. The experience can also help your child to grow in confidence and maturity.

If you would like your child to share this wonderful experience, but are not quite sure, we can put you in contact with parents who have taken the step before, and can testify to the positive effect the camp had upon their children.

Many parents are unaware that a 3-week stay in the country with 15 hours of tuition per week is virtually the equivalent of a whole year of 1½- hour lessons per week in Hong Kong.

When taking into consideration the extra daily practice over the whole period, the benefits are considerable!

14- How do you prepare students for the camp?

Before departing for the camp, you and your child will be invited to join our pre-departure briefing. At this meeting, you will be able to find out more about the camp and to ask any questions you may still have about the trip. This will also be a great opportunity for your child to get acquainted with his/her fellow campers and group leader.

 


 

B. PROGRAMME

 

15- What is included in your fees? What is not?

All our programmes include intensive language learning in the mornings, sports and recreational activities in the afternoons and evenings, as well as one or more days of cultural outings and excursions each week.

Our camps offer the widest possible choice of sports and activities, each taught by a qualified instructor. Depending on your chosen location, your child will be able to enjoy:
tennis, badminton, table-tennis, archery, fencing, golf, football, volleyball, baseball, basketball, handball, hockey, cricket, lacrosse, rounders, swimming, punting, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, water-skiing, sailing, scuba diving, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, horse-riding, rollerblading, ice-skating, martial arts, modern dance, music, drama, arts and crafts, Chinese ink painting, engraving, and more.

Our summer camps / study tours group fees are fully inclusive, and include:

  • Accommodation and meals
  • Language tuition and learning materials
  • Sports coaching
  • Recreational and cultural activities
  • Excursions (including entrance fees)
  • Airfares (including transfers and taxes)
  • Travel insurance
  • 24-hour supervision by the school staff
  • Accompaniment by a HKIL member of staff

All your child will need to bring is a little pocket money to buy a souvenir!

Optional activities, visas, which vary considerably from one nationality to another, and airfares / transfers for individual departures only, are the only fees not included. 

16- Who are the teachers?

The teachers are all fully qualified native speakers, trained to teach foreign students.
The sports and activities are led by professional, accredited instructors.

17- Can you tell me more about the day-to-day programme of our camps in general?

Each weekday morning, your child will have a minimum of 3 hours language tuition. All children are given an assessment on their first day to ensure that they are placed in the most appropriate class.

Afternoons and evenings are devoted to sports and recreational activities, while weekends are usually spent exploring the region and famous tourist sites.

18- What is a typical daily schedule? 

Typically the children get up at around 7.00 / 7.30am. They take a shower, get ready for the day and go to breakfast. After breakfast they go to class for about 3 hours, with a short mid-morning. Most schools go to lunch between 12.00 / 12.30pm and 1.30pm (Most schools recommend you call your child during this period if necessary). From 1.45pm till about 4.30 / 5.00pm the children take part in sports and other activities. They usually take part in two different activities each day, invariably followed by snack time. After sports and activities the children have a period of supervised free time. After free time the children have their dinner, followed by evening activities. Children usually go to bed at around 9.00pm for the younger and 10pm for the older, with lights off usually about half an hour later.

This is only a sample schedule; there will be some variation from school to school and from day to day.  Some schools also have extra language lessons or practice in the afternoons and/or evenings.

19- What is the lowest level of language required for attending a camp? 

Students are not required to speak the language to join any of our programmes. However, if your child has never learnt the language before, we recommend that he/she takes a few 'language survival' lessons prior to his/her departure to maximise his/her overall immersion experience.

To ensure that your child is enrolled at the correct level, and always studies in the appropriate class, he/she will take a placement test on the first day, and regular evaluations will be carried out throughout the study programme.

Note: some camps will only accept complete beginners on certain dates.

20- What is ratio of students to teacher? 

The ratio is usually 8-12 to 1 or less for classroom instruction (on some camps the maximum class size may go up to 15) and as low as 5 to 1 or less for after-class and weekend field trips. All schools not only have teachers and sport instructors, but also regular staff and counsellors to ensure students safety outside of classroom.

21- What are the language lessons like? 

From the outset we ensure that the class environment is stimulating and fun as well as being conducive to learning. This means that the children are encouraged to use the language, through a wide range of classroom activities aimed at channelling both their energy and enthusiasm into meaningful language learning. Because everything is done in a relaxed, enjoyable way and they feel no pressure, they are also more likely to give their best.  As the days go by, it becomes easier and more natural for your child to communicate in the language, and he/she learns very quickly.

But the learning does not stop there, students are continuously encouraged to use the language throughout the day: during meals, activities and excursions, where each event becomes a great learning opportunity full of fun.

No matter how hard a student studies, or how good his/her teacher is, nothing quite compares to using the language in real life situations and to communicate with native speakers.

In fact, the more the children see themselves making progress, the more enthusiastic and eager to learn they become, and the faster they progress.

22- Will my child receive a certificate at the end of the camp? 

At the end of the stay, your child will receive a progress report detailing his/her level of ability in speaking, listening, reading and writing, and a certificate to recognise his/her level of proficiency.

23- Will doing sports and activities in the target language put my child off language learning? 

On the contrary, children often learn best when they are at play. They become so enthralled by what they are doing that they no longer view the language as a foreign component and it becomes natural for them to use the language they are learning.

24- How can you be sure that my child will communicate in the target language at all times? 

We are the exclusive agent for most of the camps that we offer, and are therefore in a position to fully monitor and control the number of children taking part in them at any time.

We know how many children each camp will accept in total, as well as the maximum number of children per nationality at any time. At all our camps, we guarantee the use of the target language at all times, in a truly multinational environment.

We simply limit the number of children from any given nationality taking part in our camps at one time to create an international environment.

25- A lot of people speak English nowadays, how is it possible to ensure that my child and his/her friends will speak French or Spanish? 

It may seem like everyone in the world speaks English but this is far from the truth. Many children attending our French / Spanish summer camps / study tours come from places where English is not so widespread. When these children spend time with children from Hong Kong, their common language is more likely to be the language that they have all come to learn and practise, i.e. French or Spanish.

26- How do you ensure that children will not group together in their own ethno-linguistic groups? 

Firstly, in order to encourage the children to make use of the target language, we ensure that children of different nationalities are grouped together in one bedroom, so as to favour the use of the common language, namely that which they have come to learn, even at night.

During the daytime, children from the same linguistic group have very little opportunity to group together: in the mornings, children are grouped by age and level of ability in the language that they came to learn, in the afternoons, they are grouped according to their age again and the sport or activity that they have chosen - tennis for example - and their level of ability in this particular field.  

Teachers and activity leaders have strict instructions to speak only in the target language (unless of course if it is obvious that a child is experiencing a particular problem and the situation requires them to do otherwise). So, in reality, where your child comes from and the language that he/she speaks at home have very little bearing on his/her daily life at camp. Everything is done to favour the practice of the target language.

27- Do your camps offer the chance for my child to be in contact with local students? 

Yes, some of our camps also offer the opportunity for children to mix and interact with local students, sharing meals, playing sports, or exchanging conversational practice; therefore providing the occasion for them to learn more about each other's culture and to form long-lasting friendships.

28- Should I send my child to the same camp again or to a new place each time? 

There are pros and cons on each side. Some parents tend to want to send their child to a different place every year to give them the chance to experience something new. We are not so sure that this is necessarily the wisest way to go about it.

Indeed, sending your child to the same place again can be a very positive experience: your child knows the surroundings, the camp routine, the staff, and he/she will almost certainly know some of the children - as many children tend to choose to return to the same place when they find a place they like. From a child's point of view this is very reassuring and can have a very positive effect on his/her confidence as he/she feels secure going back to a place, and to people he/she already knows. 

29- If my child goes back to the same camp as last year, will he/she be going on the same excursions and visiting the same places? 

This is very unlikely. All the schools are accustomed to children returning several years in a row and take this into consideration when planning their programmes.

30- What type of transport will my child use to go on the excursions? 

Your child will be driven to, and from, the excursion site by private coach, in order to provide the highest level of safety and security. The children are also supervised throughout their day-trips. Some schools allow older teens, who have been given prior parental authorisation, to do some shopping on their own, while on excursion.

 



C. ACCOMMODATION & WELFARE

 

31- Do you recommend homestay or residential accommodation? 

We highly recommend that first-timers, and those younger than 12 years old, opt for residential accommodation. Being with his/her peers will reassure your child and contribute to making his/her stay more fun.

A residential stay embodies the essence of the summer language camp philosophy: by living, studying, playing sports, participating in activities and excursions and practising their language skills together, 24 hours a day, in a totally multicultural environment, students will develop strong interpersonal and social skills as well as a great sense of team spirit and camaraderie. It's the perfect recipe for making life-long friends from all over the world!

32- What is the accommodation like? 

Residential accommodation is on a full-board basis and includes three balanced main meals a day. Children are usually accommodated in shared rooms of 2 to 5 beds, and are housed by age and gender on separate floors, sections, or buildings. They are supervised around the clock, and most camps have a resident camp nurse 24/7 to provide immediate medical care if needed.

As far as possible, your child will be placed with other children of a similar age group but of a different nationality, thus encouraging full linguistic immersion. All rooms are clean, bright, comfortable, and spacious. Your child will be provided with his/her own single bed, desk, chair, lamp, and clothes closet. Some rooms are en-suite with heir own shower while others share showers on the same floor.

Homestay accommodation is with carefully selected French, English, Canadian, Spanish or Chinese families. Children usually share a room with a student of the same gender and age but of a different mother tongue. Breakfast and dinner are taken at home with the family; the family usually provides a packed-lunch.

33- How will my child be supervised?

Your child will be supervised 24 hours a day. At camp children are housed in small groups, by gender and age, and cared for by the same welfare staff during the whole of their stay.

The younger your child is, the smaller the group and the greater the level of supervision and help he/she will receive.
The welfare staff's duties include making sure that your child goes to bed on time, is happy and healthy, takes a shower in the morning, brushes his/her teeth, knows what to wear, understands what to do with dirty clothes, taking your child to breakfast, then to class, then to lunch, making sure he/she feeds himself/herself properly, etc.

Friendly camp counsellors are also available to provide answers to questions, assist with any problems that may arise, and supervise extra-curricular activities and excursions. Student/Counsellor ratio is very low to ensure ultimate safety beyond the classroom.

34- Will HKIL staff accompany my child for the whole duration of the camp?

All our schools offer the utmost in terms of security and supervision, so having someone from HKIL on site at all times with the children is certainly not a necessity. Our experience also shows that it may, in fact, impair your child's bonding with other children and full integration into the camp, as other children may become resentful of the fact that our Hong Kong students are being treated differently.

However, for some camps we do organise groups with a member of our staff staying with the children while at camp (Note: we need a minimum of 10 participants to form a group and have a member of staff escort the children on the plane, and 20 to send a member of our staff to stay with the group at the camp).

Though our staff will be present at the camp, our students will not remain in the same group all the time and your child will be encouraged to integrate with the rest of the camp and interact with the other children from all over the world.

35- What kind of food will my child be eating?

If you choose the residential option, your child will be provided with three balanced, nutritious main meals a day (a choice of cereals, toasts, etc. for breakfast, and a choice of starters, main dishes, and desserts at lunch and dinner).

Food will of course differ according to which country your child is going to, but you can rest assured that it will be healthy and include the type of wholesome food that you would want your child to eat: cereals, meat, fish, vegetables, rice, bread, fruits, etc., with the occasional old time favourites such as spaghetti and French fries.

Each school also caters for special dietary requirements.

36- How can I be sure that my child will eat properly?

It is the duty of the welfare staff to look after and supervise the children at meal times. One of their most important duties is to ensure that each child eats in an appropriate way, and that he/she enjoys the food that he/she is being served. If any of the welfare staff or our own staff notice that a child is not eating appropriately, they will automatically look into it and talk to the child to find out what is wrong with the food, whether he/she would like some other type of food, etc.

37- What will happen if my child falls sick while on camp? 

If your child suffers from a mild ache, cold or a sore throat, and provided that you have given prior written authorisation, the school's welfare staff/nurse will administer non-prescription medicines such as children's Paracetamol, cough medicine or throat pastilles to your child.

Should your child's illness requires the help of a doctor, one will be called immediately to provide a check-up and, provided that you have given prior written authorisation, the welfare staff will administer such medicines as prescribed by the doctor to your child.

In any of the above cases, the school and/or our staff present at the camp will also contact you to notify you of your child's sickness and to keep you fully informed of any changes in his/her condition.

If you have not given your prior written authorisation for any necessary medical treatment, the school will contact you immediately to enquire as to what steps you would like them to take and/or what type  of medicine you would like them to administer to your child..

38- If my child cannot join one of your accompanied groups, what will happen if he/she cannot communicate in the language? 

In the 20 years that we have organised our camps / study tours, we have never encountered a situation where a child could not communicate his/her needs or problems to an appropriate member of staff.

First of all, all our schools employ only qualified and experienced staff who are fully knowledgeable of children's needs and are experienced in providing the utmost level of care and supervision. They are therefore skilled at recognising any hint of either a need or a problem even before a chid may like to express it.

Secondly, even if your child were unable to express his/her wishes or specific problem, there would  always be a kind friend close by ready to help communicate with the staff on his/her behalf.

Last but not least, should the unlikely eventuality arise that the school staff were unable to understand your child's needs / problems, they would automatically contact either ourselves or yourselves, or both.  It is therefore highly unlikely that your child will be unable to express a need or a problem.

39- Will my child be able to call me? Will I be able to call my child? 

Yes your child will be able to call you and you will be able to call your child. Instructions on how to do this will be provided prior to your child's departure. You should however bear in mind that we do not recommend that your child call you or that you call him/her too often. Once your child has let you know that he/she has arrived safely, we leave it to each child to call his/her family as and when he/she likes.

From experience, we know that the less contact children have with their parents, the quicker they integrate into camp life, and the happier time they will have.

40- How can I be sure that my child will be OK on the camp? 

Your child will be so busy; we can assure you that he/she will be fine, well cared for, make a lot of friends, and have a great time.

In fact, we really wish that as a parent you could see the children on the last day of camp: saying goodbye, hugging, exchanging addresses, promising their friends that they will stay in contact, that they will remain friends, and that they will meet again next year.

Moreover, as a professional provider we remain in constant contact with each school throughout the duration of our summer camps / study tours to enquire as to how each of our students is doing, and if necessary, contact you, but most of the time there is no such need. If you choose for your child to join one of our accompanied group options, a member of our staff will be at hand to help to ensure that all is fine and that your child is happy and having a great time.

41- Can relatives or friends visit my child at the school? Is it possible to obtain authorisation for my child to go out with them during the course of the camp? 

Yes, relatives and friends are welcome to visit our students at the school, though they will need to find a suitable time that does not disrupt your child's programme. Some schools will also allow friends and relatives to stay for lunch, or join a field trip with your child, for a small fee.  Others may also authorise your child to go out with his/her relatives, but this should be limited to the odd occasion so as to not upset your child's integration into the camp. If you want your child to meet up with friends or relatives overseas, you need to let us know prior to your child's departure so that all the necessary arrangements can be completed in advance.

42- What if my child gets homesick? 

If children become homesick on camp it is usually only be for a short period. Should your child really feel homesick and in need of the kind of comfort that only Mum and Dad can provide, the staff will immediately arrange for your child to call home, even if this happens in the middle of the night.

However, as calling home rarely helps to really remedy the situation, we highly recommend that you encourage your child not to call you too often so that he/she can integrate more effectively into camp life.

43- How will my child's laundry be taken care of during the camp? 

All of our junior (6-12) camps (except our Beijing camp which only provides launderette facilities), and most of our other camps, provide for your child's laundry to be picked up once a week. The schools recommend that children take only name-tagged, machine washable clothes on camp.

However some of our camps may only provide launderette facilities on camp, and children are expected to take care of their own laundry with the help of the welfare staff / counsellor.    

If you have opted for homestay accommodation, your child's laundry will be taken care by the host-family.

 


 

D. TRAVEL

 

44- Does HKIL have group travel arrangements for every session and escort all the groups? 

We have group travel arrangements for various sessions for most of our camps, and will accompany every group that we organise (Note: we need a minimum of 10 participants to form a group).

However, as our schools' schedules are quite diverse, with camps running on many different dates, we also organise for students to join on other dates more convenient for them, as individuals. In these cases, we will provide the same assistance with registration and travel arrangements for your child's entire journey to and from the school. The only difference is that your child will travel from Hong Kong to his/her destination on his/her own. Whenever possible, we will try to pair him/her with one or more other children attending the same camp(s) on the same dates. A school representative will pick your child up upon arrival, and will accompany him/her back to the airport for his/her return flight to Hong Kong.

45- Our child will not be able to arrive/leave on the scheduled date; can he/she still join the camp? 

On most of our camps, it is possible to arrive later, and/or to leave earlier/later than the scheduled dates. Please note however that schools will usually not offer any fee deduction for late arrivals or early departures, and that individual transfers, and additional accommodation will usually incur extra charges.

46- We would like our child to join one of your groups, but he/she will not be able to return to Hong Kong with the group. Can he/she still join? Are you able to arrange his/her plane ticket? 

Yes, we can arrange for your child to fly back on a later date, or even organise for him/her to meet you at some other place. Please note however that depending on your child's destination, the airline may either charge you for a split return charge, or request that you purchase an individual ticket even though your child will be travelling with the group on the outbound flight.

47- We would like our child to join one of your camps, but wish to purchase our own plane ticket. Is this possible? 

Yes, we can take care of your child's registration, and individual pick up at the airport, and leave you in charge of his/her travel arrangements. Please note however that any individual transfer to and from the school will usually incur extra charges.

 

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