China presentation and some answers
Here is the ppt. presentation. If you click the link below the presentation should download and play.
Here are the questions that were asked with answers from me and Access China UK
Questions from the China meeting, which may be useful to discuss in making your decision.
Mr Maddison’s answers are in black text and Access China UK’s Answers are in blue text
Where will we stay? They will all stay in Hotels, minimum of 3-star
Children will be in pairs in hotel rooms with members of staff in adjacent rooms. Yes, it will be 2 children per room and always a staff member around. When possible, we try to have all the kids on one floor but otherwise there will always be a teacher around.
Will it be safe? Yes, we have all the risk assessments for the trip and have been doing these trips for a long time. Also, the Chinese Educational Bureau is backing the programme and all the areas where we take the kids are more than secure.
We felt very welcome and very safe throughout our time in Wuhan. The children will be supervised at all times and we will have a member of Access China UK with us to support us in all areas.
What if one of the children needs medical help?
We will use our Access China UK rep. to support us in any medical situations, such as needing a doctor or some medication. In non-emergencies, we will contact parents and talk through how best to support your child.
I will also be, at all times, in communication with our Chinese staff. They have been trained to take action in any such cases and will constantly keep you and the parents updated.
Are there any jabs required to go to Wuhan?
The areas where we are going are not rural hence immunisations are not required, but some parents prefer to take them.
Is travel/medical insurance included in the cost of the trip?
Usually the schools have a travel insurance to cover student’s trips. If not then the parent’s need to obtain an insurance to cover the trip and medical situations as in China hospitals are private.
I thought this was part of the package and so we will need to look into this as soon as we get back in January.
Is Access China UK ATOL protected or are the travel arrangements covered by a third party? What happens if a flight is cancelled or delayed, or a connection missed?
We are not a travel company hence we don’t have an ATOL certificate, however we work with a travel agency that has the certificate. It is recommended that if the parents get the insurance to make sure that it includes flight cancelations and lost baggage.
More detail on food
The hotels and restaurants will cater for western needs as well as offering more traditional Chinese food. School dinners will be what the Chinese children get at lunchtime. The water is drinkable. The children can take some snacks with them in their bags just in case they need a bit extra.
This is nearly all correct. Only the water fact is not 100% certain, hence we will also provide you with bottled water at all times for the children.
What is the weather like?
We will be going in October, which is Wuhan’s short Autumn. The weather is in the low 20 degrees Celsius, so a warm day in Newcastle. It gets quite foggy, particularly in the morning and as Wuhan has lots of lakes and so the atmosphere is quite damp. The air is also quite smoggy and so asthma sufferers will need their medication with them in case this affects them. All correct
We took clothes for an English summer and were fine. A raincoat is useful, as it can feel damp. All correct
Clothes for school
As the children are photographed at all times, they should take their uniform for the days they will spend in school.
How will we keep in contact?
We will set up WeChat accounts for pupils and families. None of the western social media platforms work in China, as they are blocked by the government. On WeChat, you can send messages and photographs. There is an 8 hour time difference and so we probably won’t be having a conversation.
We will also be updating any news and uploading pictures on our Facebook account for the parents to see what the kids are up to.
Air travel – Which airline will we be using and are we sure that there is a direct Newcastle – Shanghai flight?
The Airline will depend, but there is not a direct flight from Newcastle to Shanghai. They will do a stop in Paris but the luggage will go straight to Shanghai.
This is different information to what we thought and means that there will be short stops on both the outward and inward journey.
Due to passport rule changes, can the children get visas without actually attending the visa office?
We have found a way to do group visas and try to avoid the kids having to go to the Visa centres. Regulations are constantly changing hence we cannot be 100% certain, but for now they won’t have to.
How much money will the children need?
Everything they need is paid for except for souvenirs and presents
They will only need to take cash for Snacks and souvenirs, Many parents send £100 and found that they only spend half of it.
Will there be any fund raising to reduce the cost?
As this trip is only for a few pupils, we can’t do any fund raising as a school. We can discuss raising funds as a group, once we know who is going.
We are still waiting on the companies from Wuhan to reply, however we split the cost on 4 payments to avoid just one big payment.
Can you get some testimonials from primary schools who have travelled with Access China UK before?
Yes, here is the link of all our videos and you can see how many primaries we have worked with and how happy they are there.