Cultural exchange in China

Summer EduCamp Program

Join our unique cultural exchange programs

Spend your summer at summer camps across China! Our unique cultural exchange programs combine English language teaching or STEM subject teaching with a genuine cultural exchange – offering you an immersive insight into the Chinese culture through workshops, trips and an optional homestay week.

  • 2-6 week teaching internship
  • Teach English or your specialist subject
  • Fun afternoon activities and competitions
  • Full TEFL training included
  • Flights, accommodation and meals included
  • Trips to famous local sights
  • Cultural workshops and activities
  • Optional (free) homestay week
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  • The program was phenomenal! There were various different aspects that I enjoyed – from teaching the kids and playing with them to really getting to grips with the outside areas such as Luanping and Chengde. 

    It was absolutely fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

    Adilah

    University of Sheffield
  • I enjoyed so many different aspects of the program. I loved working with the kids who were so friendly, funny and sweet. 

    I also enjoyed spending time with the other volunteers at the camp, it was great to meet so many new people! 

    Sammy

    University of Cambridge
  • It was one of the best summers I’ve ever had, the programme totally immerses you in a new culture. Straight off the plane you’re confronted with new foods and customs. 

    I’d highly recommend the homestay week as it’s the kind of experience you won’t get anywhere else, it takes a native to really show off Beijing

    Shantu

    University of Southampton
  • I had a wonderful time, and really enjoyed experiencing the Chinese culture.

    I learnt a lot about Chinese culture and developed my teaching skills. The experiences was also helpful in improving my confidence talking to large groups.

    Leah

    University of Cambridge
  • I had such an amazing time and was able to meet such amazing people and lifelong friends along the way, all while being able to challenge myself in the classroom as a foreign teacher and as an individual traveling alone in a new country. It was an honor to be 老师 Lǎoshī to such amazing kids! 

    Rachel

    University of Waterloo
  • Absolutely, I would recommend to a friend! Not only do you get to go to another country on essentially the other side of the world, for free, but you also get an incredible experience that’s sure to help you in whatever you end up going into in the future.

    Jack

    University of Cambridge
  • It’s definitely a great way to spend your summer – I’ve learnt so much and I think this kind of experience you wouldn’t really have got in other ways. 

    It’s a very unique program – you’re teaching what you’re passionate about and you’re also exploring all of this environment around you.

    Natalie

    University of Oxford
  • After spending a summer in China on the EduCamp program, I would whole-heartily say that such an experience was rewarding, educational and recreational at the same time. 

    For anyone out there considering starting off a teaching career or even trying it out over the summer I could not recommend the Abridge programs or any similar programs enough.

    Patricia

    University of Southampton
  • The Beijing camp exceeded my expectations. I have met such funny and interesting people on this programme, it has been lovely getting to know everyone and teaching the students. I am very happy I decided to do the camp! 

    I learned how to assert myself in the classroom and take control of the room while also keeping the class entertained.

    Niamh

    Aberystwyth University
  • The program was a great way to experience the education system in Asia.

    As someone looking to be a future teacher, I was able to try many of my teaching techniques and gauge the responses and effectiveness on children overseas.

    Jenny

    University of Toronto
  • One of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. I learned so much on this trip. Truly grateful for the experience.

    You learn so much from your peers and students. You get to visit all the museums and landmarks in Beijing. You also meet so many amazing people in this program.

    Jason

    McMaster University
  • The program was so much fun! I learnt so much and met some amazing people. I really enjoyed teaching and getting to know a class and see how they progress with the help and new skills given to them. 

    It is a great way to travel, gain teaching experience, speak to new people and learn so much. 

    Annabel

    University of Southampton
  • My experience in China was phenomenal! I met so many different people as well as students and teachers from different walks of life. I learned so much from these people. 

    This definitely was an experience of a lifetime and one I would recommend to all.

    Haley

    East Tennessee State University
  • The program was a great experience for personal growth and learning. 

    Teaching the kids was exciting and challenging at times but always rewarding.

    Pascal

    University of Southampton
  • Through teaching I was able to take on responsibility, leading my own lessons, as well as bonding with the kids in extracurricular activities including an amazing waterfight, and I learnt valuable skills from them too, from the dance routine of ‘what makes you beautiful’ to basic mandarin. 

    Jessie

    University of Cambridge
  • When I first arrived in Beijing, I was full of hope that the next six weeks would go well.  Looking back now, they far exceeded my expectations!

    I learned a lot about teaching, China, and myself. I’m so glad that I had this opportunity and would definitely encourage those interested to apply!

    Afra

  • It was a fantastic chance to try out teaching as a profession – gaining experience in everything from lesson planning to assessments, as well as hands-on teaching experience and being able to run fun activity sessions.

    Overall, my time volunteering as an English teacher was both an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience

    Katie

    University of Cambridge
  • This opportunity was actually great as a first experience of travelling to China. The fact that the teachers and teaching assistants from the school were there to pick me up from the airport, to introduce me to some local customs and obviously translate things meant that I didn’t feel left alone and overwhelmed. 

    Rebecca

    University of Cambridge
  • By far one of the best experiences! I have learned so much about my potential that I didn’t know existed when it came to teaching. 

    It was such a privilege teaching the students and bonding with them. They had so much enthusiasm and drive to learn English and putting it into practice. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing and seeing the evidence that I’ve made an impact on the students’ lives.

    Nellie

    University of Waterloo
  • I had such a wonderful time teaching and exploring China this summer! The children who attended the summer camp were so bright and lovely, and all of the administration, faculty, and staff wanted to ensure that everyone was safe, comfortable, and having a blast!

    Leanna

Common F.a.q

Camps will typically be 3-6 weeks starting early July. Further details will be released closer to the time, and you will be informed of the program dates before confirming your place.

EduCamp is very different to your standard holiday or “voluntourism” trip! This is a bidirectional cultural exchange program with a significant teaching element, and as such we expect interns to behave and act as professionals. That being said, there will be plenty of opportunities to travel, with free trips and cultural workshops included during the summer camp and the opportunity to travel around China afterwards.

We endeavour to make the application process as simple as possible as we appreciate students are busy!

  1. Initial application form. This quick form collects your basic info as well as offering you the opportunity to share your motivations and previous relevant experiences. Please include as much detail as possible, but do feel free to bullet-point key ideas rather than stressing over long paragraphs.
  2. Skype interview. This is an opportunity for us to find out more about your passion for teaching, as well as for you to ask any questions about the program.
  3. Applicant pool. Congratulations you have successfully passed the interview and we would love to invite you to join the program! Note that joining the applicant pool requires payment of a £200 deposit, which is refundable in the unlikely chance that you are not successfully placed. This deposit is returned to you by way of an allowance at the end of camp.
  4. Camp matching. The profiles of successful applicants will be shared with our partner schools to match you with the best camp for your interests and experience. 
  5. On-boarding. Once your camp details are finalised, we will provide pre-departure support – covering everything from visas and flights to surviving Chinese toilets and teaching your first lesson.

Due to the funding generously provided by host schools, Chinese visa restrictions and the internship responsibilties, applicants must meet the following essential eligibility requirements:

  • Be a current student or recent graduate (including gap year students and post-A level students);
  • Aged 18 or over on 1st July 2019;
  • Have a valid passport from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia, or be an EU national with experience studying in one of these countries;
  • Have a clean criminal record

Additionally, there is a competitive application process for which applicants will be judged against the following criteria:

  • Previous voluntary, teaching or childcare experience;
  • A demonstrated passion for teaching, volunteering and working with children;
  • Commitment to full participation in all aspects of the summer camp program;
  • Passion and excellence in activities or sports played in afternoon activity time;
  • Level of spoken and written English;
  • Previous experience travelling or living abroad;
  • Ability to adapt to different cultures and work environments

Absolutely not, don’t worry! Interns will be provided with full in-country support, including airport pickup, on campus accommodation, canteen meals and bilingual teaching assistants. Some schools will also provide interns with free language classes. If you wish to explore off-campus during the summer camp program, it is usually possible to ask a friendly teaching assistant to accompany you. 

If you wish to travel after the camp, do be aware that few people speak English (although younger Chinese will often know the basics from school). However, you can usually get by with a bit of assistance from google translate! 

We encourage applications from all individuals, and do our best to accommodate those with additional needs. However, please do be aware that the facilities and awareness in China is not to the same level as in the west. For example, schools do not typically have lifts or disabled toilets, which may pose a particular challenge to those with physical disabilities. 

If you have any concerns about living in China, please do let us know at the initial application stage.

Although we cannot make any guarantees, we do endeavour to place interns together if they request. Please mention your friends’ names on your initial application form.

The majority of interns do not know anyone before they come, don’t worry! We put you in touch with other EduCamp interns (from all camp locations) before departure via a dedicated facebook group, enabling you to get to know each other and plan post-camp travels if you wish.

At camp, interns typically share dorm rooms with each other, participate in cultural activities, and go on camp trips. This camp atmosphere provides plenty of opportunities to get to know each other and make life-long friends.

Qualified STEM/ Economics teachers (PGCE or QTS) are particularly recommended to express a preference for subject teaching camps, which provide you with the opportunity to broaden your experience by teaching abroad and working with children for whom English is an Additional Language. 

Alternatively, you are welcome to join our standard English language camps, which also offer a valuable experience and less intense schedule. Some potential benefits include:

– Experience teaching students with English as an Additional Language

– Diversity your CV with different age ranges and subjects

– Gain international teaching experience

– Receive specialist training in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

We aim to make the application process as quick and painless as possible. Following your initial application, you will typically hear if have been invited to an interview within two weeks of the closing date. 

Following the interview, you will usually received a confirmed offer within two weeks.

In total, expect the process to take 4-6 weeks.

Interns will be responsible for planning, preparing and leading lessons to classes of students. Most camps focus on teaching English and English culture, however there may also be opportunities to teach topics related to your degree. Alongside your teaching responsibilities, you will also be expected to contribute more widely to camp activities, as well as engage with the Chinese cultural workshops and trips.

The camp schedule does vary significantly between summer camps, and improvements are made to each camp every year. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a detailed schedule in advance. However, for a rough guide of the typical schedule in previous years, please see each camp’s page. 

Although our camps are very well funded, thanks to generous support from sponsoring schools, there are a few additional costs participants will need to budget for. Please note that all costs below are approximate and subject to change.

  • Visa application fee (£151 for UK citizens)
  • Police record check / DBS check / International Child Protection Certificate (£0-£60)
  • Vaccinations (£0-£175 depending on previous vaccination records)
  • Travel insurance (£30-£50)
  • Transport to airport at end of camp (£5-£30)
  • Personal spending, souvenirs and meals out
  • Pre/ post- camp travel

We recognise that the £200 fee is not insubstantial, and therefore offer outstanding interns the opportunity to apply for an additional scholarship to cover this fee. Priority will be given to those who meet certain widening participation criteria. Scholars will be required to write blog articles, feature in YouTube videos and/ or participate in other marketing activities. Please note that this scholarship will be paid after completion of the summer camp and all scholar duties, and so the £200 fee is still required to be paid initially as a deposit.

We also encourage interns to apply for additional funding which may be available through their university or college. Although your flight and basic living costs will be covered during the EduCamp program, you will still have additional costs such as insurance and post-camp travel.

Firstly, it is important to emphasise that this is an international volunteering opportunity, and most camps are run on a not-for-profit basis. Therefore, you are not paid a “salary” as such. However, camps all provide interns with a small pocket money allowance, intended to cover your essential costs during the program. The vast majority of participants will spend this money during the program, it is not intended as a salary to take back home, however you should find that it significantly reduces your day-to-day costs in China.

All summer camps provide:

  • Return flight ticket from the UK, or a refund of your flight costs to/ from other locations (a maximum reimbursement value will apply)
  • Accommodation in school dormitories
  • Canteen meals or a food allowance
  • Online TEFL training course
  • Pre-departure advice (visa applications, settling into China, etc.)
  • Airport pick-up
  • Trips to local sights
  • Cultural activities and workshops
  • Pocket money allowance (typically 2000 RMB)

However, please note that there is some variation between each host school in terms of the quality of accommodation/ food provided or the trips/ cultural activities available.

Interns will be responsible for any additional costs outside the program, for example evening meals out, post-camp travel or souvenirs.

At the initial application form stage and during the interview, applicants can express a preference for particular camps. As far as possible, we try to accommodate this. However, we cannot guarantee any camp allocations. Additionally, sometimes camps change last-minute (e.g. due to student numbers) and so we ask that interns are flexible. Occasionally, you may be moved to another camp once in country – all transport logistics and costs will be covered by the host school.

On-campus accommodation is provided by host schools. However, there is some variation in its quality and facilities.

Please be aware that the accommodation standards in China may not be what you are used to back home, and typically fits within the lower end of budget youth hostels. Interns will be expected to share dorm rooms, which typically contain 2-3 bunk beds.

Some accommodation is ensuite, but most schools have shared bathroom (which may be a western or squat toilet) and shower facilities. Note that this is almost always single sex, however you may be sharing some facilities with the children attending the summer camp so please be considerate.

If you have any particular needs with respect to accommodation or bathroom facilities, please let us know in your initial application form and we will do our best to assign you to a summer camp who can accommodate.

Interns are strongly encouraged to travel before or after the camp. Do keep your plans flexible though, often you will meet an amazing group of new friends during the program and can travel together afterwards.

Please note that the summer camps do require a full time commitment, and many camps also run over weekends. Therefore, please do not plan any travels during the summer camp program. Your host school will usually provide you with trips to local sights of interest.

All host schools are able to issue F visa invite letters, which you can use to apply for a cultural exchange visa at your local visa application centre or embassy. Full guidance will be provided to successful applicants.

All interns will be required to complete an online TEFL training course. This aims to provide you will the skills needed to teach English at summer camp – covering topics such as lesson planning, suggested class activities, the communicative and CLIL teaching methods, and top tips for engaging students in lessons. 

This is not a standard “voluntourism” trip and it is important to us that you can really make a difference to the education of the children attending the camps. This online training course is essential for both ensuring high quality teaching and enabling you to make the most of your summer camp experience.

Don’t worry though, we have worked hard to ensure the course is easily accessible and quick to complete, without complex background theory, providing directly implementable tips for teaching English. 

Ready to apply?