Chinese parents favor summer study tours

Sending their children on study tours during the summer vacation as an alternative to traditional camp education has become a popular option for Chinese parents.

Children paint near a brook. (Photo/Li Mingming)

Study tours are packed with educational benefits and fun, enabling students to acquire knowledge in various ways, explained Zhang Dong, associate professor at the Business School of Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan province.

In recent years, more parents have arranged for their children to go on study tours to cultural museums, science and technology museums, natural scenic spots, or farms to broaden their horizon and experience during the summer vacation.

A man surnamed Zhao from Zhengzhou is one of them. Zhao and his children visited the Henan Natural History Museum on June 30. “I often take my children out for museum tours, as these trips help stimulate their thirst for knowledge and provide an opportunity for us to enjoy family time,” he said.

Children listen to a docent sharing stories about an ancient building. (Photo/Li Mingming)

Zhao, who always goes on trips with his children during holidays, added that interest is a child’s best teacher, and study tours can help them develop a variety of interests.

High participation and an immersive experience are essential for boosting children’s interest in gaining knowledge, Zhao noted, explaining that children can better appreciate and understand the charm of traditional culture and craftsmanship, such as the making of porcelain, picking tea leaves and making tea, by having a go themselves after watching craftsmen demonstrate it to them.

Zhao’s view is echoed by Feng Bei, an art teacher in Zhengzhou. Believing that it is far more meaningful for children to get close to nature than having art lessons indoors, Feng arranged a short-term study tour for her students for this year’s summer vacation.

The growing popularity of study tours reflects the changes in people’s ideas on education and the improvement in people’s living standards, according to Zhang Dong.

“Parents have realized the importance of having an all-round education, so they are changing their perspective. Besides, this growing popularity also comes from schools’ efforts to promote quality-oriented education,” Zhang added.