As of yesterday, I have a NBF called Wendy Wu. She is the UK’s leading China specialist and has a company that offers tours not only to China, but also to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and India.
She was brought up in and around China and then moved to Australia where she set up her company. Since then she has established an office in the UK and later this year is opening her NY branch. She’s very excited about this and it was really interesting to talk to her about her business and how she manages to juggle everything around her 21 month old twin boys who travel with her.
I was talking to her about China. I love it. I’ve been a couple of times and was saying that I’d love my son to go there for his gap year (obviously he has no say in the matter). I think it would be great if he could spend 3 months in Shanghai learning Mandarin and then travel to other areas of China that spoke the same dialect and spend some time working in villages and so on. She thought it was a brilliant idea.
When my son came back from school I bombarded him with questions – “if you were to go to China for the year and learn Mandarin would you prefer to be with a family or on a campus?” “Definitely a campus” he said…I asked him so many questions he got bored. “Mum, I can’t learn Mandarin in three months obviously, I don’t even know if I want to go to China, I’m really hungry AND STOP ASKING ME QUESTIONS”.
So. I gave him his final choice. “OK. On your Gap year you either have to go to China for a year and learn Mandarin OR you have to let me come with you on your Gap year”. He mumbled something about “I’d rather die” whilst eating a marmite sandwich and I gave up.
Anyway. Rubbish. Can’t get a thing out of him. Several other friends, with teenagers almost ready to go on a Gap year think the idea of an organised educational tour to China which Wendy could help put together is a brilliant idea. I need to give her some proposed details of what we would want it to consist of. So over to you guys.
ANYBODY OUT THERE WITH A VIEW ON CHINA FOR GAP YEAR STUDENTS AND WHAT SORT OF THINGS THEY COULD DO?