TIPS TO CHOOSE THE BEST SUMMER CAMP / STUDY TOUR FOR YOUR CHILD

- Be very careful about who you choose as your camp organiser ~ make sure that they are recognised as professionals, have an established track-record of success in providing such a service, and that they are able to provide answers to all of your questions/concerns.

- Don't be afraid of asking searching questions about the programme:

  • the accommodation ~ is it residential or homestay? Some camps only provide homestay. This may sound like a wonderful opportunity for children to be immersed in the culture, but is not always the case ~ depending on the commitment of the host family. Homestay is usually a cheaper option, but children often benefit more when they stay in a residential camp. 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. Residential camps also provide a great sense of team spirit and camaraderie, as the children are spending 24 hours a day together, forming much closer friendships.
    If your child is going on camp for the first time, we would highly recommend that you choose a camp with residential accommodation which is a lot more reassuring for a first experience abroad away from Mum and Dad.
  • the languages classes ~ how many students per class? How many hours per day? How many hours per week? Are the teachers professional? Or only students hired as teachers for the summer?
  • the ratio of children from Hong Kong to children from other countries on the camp ~ make sure that the camp you are planning to send your child to offers a worldwide nationality mix, and that the number of children from Hong Kong is only a small percentage of the total student intake for the camp. You need to ensure that your child will be in a situation where he/she has no choice but to speak the target language all the time, rather that speaking his/her mother tongue throughout the camp.
  • the afternoon and evening activities ~ what kind of activities, if any, does the camp provide in the afternoons and in the evenings? Does the camp provide a balanced combination of sports and recreational and cultural activities, or sightseeing only, or just free time? A camp providing a combination of sports, recreational and cultural activities will mean that the children are always occupied and supervised - learning, interacting in the target language, and fully benefiting from every hour of their day. With such an organised schedule, the fees may be higher, but the extra cost will be well worth it.
  • the supervision ~ are children supervised 24 hours a day? When staying in a family, what kind of transport is organised for students to travel to school and back each day? Or will your child have to commute on his/her own?
  • The ratio of teachers / welfare staff / counsellors to children. The smaller the number of children per staff, the better supervision your child will receive. Most of our camps provide 1 adult per 5-8 students only. The younger your child is, the greater the need for supervision.
  • what is included in the price? ~ some camps may seem much cheaper on paper, but parents would be well-advised to check carefully before registering their child. Indeed some camps do not include all excursions, or entrance fees, and these can turn out to be really expensive. Some do not even include any afternoon activities. So, by the time you add up all the little "extras", it could turn out that you will pay a lot more than you were originally led to believe.

- Do not hesitate to ask to speak to parents of children who have attended before.

- If it sounds too cheap, then it probably is. There is no miracle, and one pays for what one gets. If you want real quality, it will come at a higher cost - even in places like China, mostly in Beijing and Shanghai.

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