Whether your students have never spoken a word of Mandarin or are already advanced, this trip will inspire them with language lessons, local interactions and cultural once-in-a-lifetimes. Here’s our Mandarin language school trip at a glance:
- Days 1-5 in Shanghai: People’s Square, Nanjing Road, The Bund, Shanghai Museum, 8 Mandarin lessons, Propaganda Poster Museum, Tianzifang, Former French Concession, ERA acrobatic performance, Yu Yuan Gardens, Yu Yuan Bazaar, Lujiazui (financial district), Pearl TV Tower, The Bund, Huangpu River cruise, Jade Buddha Temple, night train
- Days 6-7 in Xi’an: Terracotta Warriors, Muslim Quarter, Drum and Bell Tower, Great Wild Goose Pagoda, calligraphy lesson, city walls bike ride, night train
- Days 8-11 in Beijing: Temple of Heaven, teahouse ceremony, Summer Palace, Great Wall, Olympic Stadium, Chinese school, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, local interactions
Like what you see? Discover China’s beautiful language in our detailed itinerary below! But remember, all our school trips are completely customisable.
*Prices based on groups of 20 students and 2 free teachers.
✓ All accommodation costs
✓ Full board meals for the entire trip
✓ All transportation costs, including airport pick-up and drop-off
✓ All activities listed in the itinerary
✓ 1 free teacher per 10 paying students
✓ 24-hour emergency contact support during the trip
✓ Detailed pre-departure summary & briefing
✓ Full financial failure protection
✓ Public liability insurance
✓ Our trips are fully risk-assessed
Day 1: Shanghai’s Glitz & Glamour
Step off the plane and hop on your transfer to your city accommodation, whilst you listen to some general knowledge about Shanghai on the way.
Shake hands with one of the world’s most developed cities as you explore two of its most famous areas, People’s Square and Nanjing Road. Nanjing Road is the world’s longest shopping district, at 5.5km long and with over 1 million visitors a day! That’s 1/8 of London, 1/5 of Sydney or 1/9 of New York.
Finish up by snooping through Shanghai Museum‘s ancient artifacts.
Day 2: Language & History
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced. This morning, you’re getting a rigorous series of Mandarin lessons, specially matched to students’ standards.
You’ve learned the language, now discover the history. Learn about communist history at the underground Propaganda Poster Museum. Next up, Tianzifang, a bohemian culture and arts area. Then, carry on the arty vibe at the Former French Concession’s Art Street. Visit quirky cafés and hip restaurants, concept bars and eclectic breweries, pop-up boutiques and experimental art galleries.
Prepare to be captivated, as you watch the spectacular ERA acrobatic and theatrical performance.
Day 3: Food and Art in Shanghai
Start the day in the same way as yesterday, with two more Mandarin lessons.
After a morning of (mental) hard work, treat yourself to some Xiao Long Bao dumplings for lunch. Tweet us a photo if you want to be on the receiving end of some serious food envy!
Take a chilled afternoon, strolling around the Yu Yuan Gardens to learn more about Chinese garden art. Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying – and you’ll see why. Think lush greenery, serene waters and ornate pavilions. Then, try local delicacies or pick up some souvenirs at the Yu Yuan Bazaar, the heart of old Shanghai.
It’s been a day of good food – don’t break the streak. Tonight you’re dining on traditional hotpot, a boiling, fragrant broth. A China must-try!
Day 4: Shanghai City Strolling
Up bright and early, marvel at how fast you’re progressing in your next two Mandarin lessons.
Take a tour of Shanghai’s fancy financial district, Lujiazui. Head up the Pearl TV Tower for a view of the whole city – pick out your favourite spots from the past few days.
As the sun goes down, take a walk around The Bund, whilst learning about the city’s urban development. Then, take advantage of Shanghai’s beautiful night lights with an evening cruise on the Huangpu River.
Day 5: Goodbye to Language Lessons & Hello to Xi’an
This is your last morning of Mandarin lessons. You’re good enough to pick things up and converse with the locals now!
Soak up the last gems of Shanghai culture this afternoon. Trade tourists for monks as you explore the off-the-beaten-track Jade Buddha Temple. The guidebooks don’t tell you about this one!
Wave a sad goodbye to Shanghai and a happy hello to Xi’an as you hop aboard your night train (15-hour journey).
Day 6: Terracotta Warriors
Start the next leg of your journey off right with a trip out of Xi’an and into the ancient past of the Terracotta Warriors. Thousands of terracotta warriors were buried with the emperor, as there was a belief that they would come alive and protect him in the afterlife.
After lunch, explore Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter. This is where traders from across the Silk Road first settled in China.
For dinner, sample the unique flavours of Hui Muslim food. Walk it off with an evening stroll to see the Drum and Bell tower lit up at night.
Day 7: Swap Pisa for Pagoda
Forget the Leaning Tower of Pisa, this morning Xi’an presents you with the Great Wild Goose Pagoda. It’s a Buddhist holy place that leans to the West. Then, opt for a challenge with a calligraphy lesson at a local museum.
Once you’ve refueled, take an afternoon bike ride around the top of Xi’an’s ancient city walls, and take some seriously Instagrammable snaps of the city.
Take advantage of the 14-hour night train journey – rest up so that you’re ready to explore Beijing tomorrow.
Day 7: Imperial China
Admire the Temple of Heaven‘s classic imperial Chinese architecture in the morning sun. go visit a teahouse – take the chance to experience a Chinese tea ceremony.
Spend a relaxing afternoon at the Summer Palace. Walk through the spectacular grounds and take a wooden boat across the palatial lake.
Day 9: The Great Wall, minus the crowds
Make your way to the outskirts of the city and take a 2-3-hour hike to a secluded and fantastically beautiful section of the Great Wall. This is one of the most famous sites in the world – but we know China’s ins and outs, so today we’re sidestepping the big tourist crowds. Make sure you stop by the Olympic Stadium too – you’ve seen it on TV, now it’s up close!
Feast on a Peking roast duck banquet for dinner. Peking is the romanized name for Beijing.
Day 10: Beijing School
Make lifelong friends at a local Chinese school, specially matched to meet your school’s curriculum and students’ educational interests. Typically, you’ll take a school tour, join in with some lessons, play sports and eat lunch. If you want to be popular, prepare gifts and a performance for the welcome ceremony in advance.
Learn about China’s fascinating imperial history at Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is the world’s largest imperial palace and has been the home of 24 emperors! Stroll out to the former imperial gardens, Jingshan Park, for spectacular panoramic views of Beijing.
Day 11: Interact with the Locals
There’s plenty of famous landmarks and secret cultural spots, but it’s the people who really make China. Spend a full day interacting with local students. You could be visiting Sun Village, a children’s centre, talking to kids and planting trees. Alternatively, participate in a seal-making lesson, or have fun on a scavenger hunt in Chuandixia village or one of Beijing’s hutong areas. Hutongs are the traditional courtyard-based residential streets of Beijing.
Day 12: Bye, Beijing!
It’s home time, but it’s not over. China’s unforgettable language and culture will follow you back to the classroom…and beyond.