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Cultural Study Tours

We invite interested schools and educational institutions to consider undertaking a variety of cultural study tour visiting a variety of cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi and Nanjing, all cities depicting the dramatic economic, social and political transformation of China. Our cultural study tours explores a range of issues from the past, present and future. They have been designed to promote a lasting fascination with China, where participants will go back to their home countries and speak with growing authority about issues related to China. Our audiences for our cultural study tours include primary, secondary, tertiary students and adult delegations.

Tour 1 – Shanghai 3 Days

2000 RMB

Tour 2 - Shanghai 5 Days

3000 RMB

Tour 3 - Shanghai and Hangzhou 5 Days

3000 RMB

Tour 4 - Shanghai and Suzhou 5 Days

3000 RMB

Tour 5 - Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing 14 Days

10 000 RMB

Tour 6 - Beijing 3 Days

2000 RMB

Tour 7 - Beijing 5 Days

3000 RMB

Tour 8 - Beijing and Henan 5 Days

3000 RMB

To find out more about our cultural study tours please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or telephone the following numbers between these times:

English enquiries: Between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm contact Theresa on 86-186-8165-5057

Chinese enquiries: Between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm contact Anny on 86 – 158-5277-2102

We can also custom design tours to suit the unique requirements of your school or institution.

Note: our advertised prices do not include the cost of travelling to and from the starting and departure point for each tour.

 

 

Eight Important Reasons For Teaching Kindness in Schools

Written by Lisa Currie who is the founder of Ripple Kindness Project which is a community project and school curriculum that improves social, emotional and mental health, and reduces bullying in schools.  This  ongoing, whole school primary curriculum, teaches children about their emotions and the impact their words and actions have on themselves and others, and provides opportunities for kindness to be noticed and shown in everyday situations to make altruism a natural and instinctive part of life.  To find out more about Lisa Currie and her exceptionally valuable work, please review her website: www.ripplekindness.org  All the team at World Schools Review deeply acknowledge the work of Lisa and her team.

Research have shown that kindness has a great number of physical and emotional benefits, and that children require a healthy dose of warm praise and affection in order to flourish as health, happy, well-rounded individuals.

Patty O’Grady, PhD, is an expert in the area of neuroscience, emotional learning, and positive psychology with special attention to the educational arena. She believes that “kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it. Kindness is an emotion that students feel and empathy is a strength that they share.”

Many benefits have been reported to support the theory of teaching kindness in schools. These include the following.

1. Happy Children: Research indicates that the good feelings we experience when being kind are produced by endorphins that activate areas of the brain that are associated with pleasure, social connection and trust.  These feelings of joyfulness are contagious, encouraging more kind behaviour by the giver and recipient.  In summary, by mixing with kind children, other children display kind behaviour.

2. Increased Peer Acceptance: Kindness increases our ability to form meaningful connections with others. Kind, happy children enjoy greater peer acceptance because they are well-liked and that better than average mental health is reported in classrooms that practice more inclusive behaviour due to an even distribution of popularity.  In summary, kind children tend to have more friends and those friendships are lasting.

3. Improved Health and Less Stress: Kindness can trigger a release of the hormone oxytocin which has a number of physical and mental health benefits as it can significantly increase a person’s level of happiness and reduce stress. Oxytocin also plays a significant role in the cardiovascular system, helping protect the heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing free radicals and inflammation, which incidentally speed up the aging process. In summary, kind children are healthier children.

4. Greater Sense of Belonging and Improved Self Esteem: Kindness promotes a ‘helpers high’, meaning when they do a good deed, a rush of endorphins that creates a lasting sense of pride, wellbeing and an enriched sense of belonging. Even small acts of kindness are reported to heighten our sense of wellbeing, increase energy and give a wonderful feeling of optimism and self worth. In summary, kind children have healthier self-esteems.

5. Increased Feelings of Gratitude: When children are part of projects that help others less fortunate than themselves, it provides them with a real sense of perspective and helps them appreciate the good things in their own lives. In summary, kind children have higher levels of perceptiveness and gratitude.

6. Better Concentration and Improved Results: Acts of regular kindness promote the production of serotonin (a natural chemical responsible for improving mood) within the brain, which plays an important part in learning, memory, mood, sleep, health and digestion. Having a positive outlook allows them greater attentions spans and enables more creative thinking to produce better results at school. In summary, kind children achieve better academic results at school.

7. Less Bullying: Teaching kindness and compassion in schools, not only fosters the positive behaviour that creates warm and inclusive school environments, but helps children feel that they belong. It’s documented that the effects of bullying can be significantly reduced by integrating kindness based programs in schools. In summary, kind children can help reduce bullying in school communities.

8. Reduced Depression: Acts of kindness increases levels of serotonin in the brain. It’s also found that serotonin levels are increased in both the giver and receiver of an act of kindness, as well as anyone who witnesses that kindness, making it a wonderful natural antidepressant. In summary, kind children are much less likely to become depressed.

We need to be prepared to teach kindness, because it can be delayed due to maltreatment early in life. It can be smothered under the weight of poverty, and it can be derailed by victimization later in life.

It’s become quite clear that modern education must encompass more than just academics, that in order for children to develop into happy, confident, well-rounded individuals, matters of the heart must be taken seriously and nurtured as a matter of priority. 

Chinese and Indian Students Flocking to Australia

Chinese students highly desire studying to Australia

Great news for international students wishing to study in Australia.  Recently the visa laws concerning entry for students wishing to study in Australia have been relaxed.  This, combined with the drop in the Australian dollar and the high quality of education offered by universities and colleges, has suddenly made Australia the number one destination of choice for Chinese students wishing to study abroad.

Read more: Chinese and Indian Students Flocking to Australia

Think Carefully and Ask Questions – Pollution in China

There are now hundreds of international schools and educational institutions catering mainly for foreign students in China. They are scattered in numerous cities.  Some of these learning establishments been running for a relatively long period of time, although most have opened within the last five years. This is due to the rapid development of second tier cities, quite a few with populations exceeding five million people.

A really important consideration for parents of children planning to relocate and for teachers considering employment in China is pollution, in particular quality breathable air.

Without being an alarmist, the pollution and air quality situation in China is really serious and has significant local, national and global implications.  Quite often, parents of children and teachers are largely unaware of the factual situation regarding pollution in China.  In some cities, particularly in Northern China, weeks and even months can past without a clear day. It is no exaggeration to say that many cities are permanently under a pall of toxic smog, where every day of the year poses serious short and long term health risks.  The China Daily (April 15/2014) recently reported that residents in Beijing and most parts of Northern China were advised to stay indoors for several due to heavily polluted air contributing to the deaths of several citizens.

What is the current situation of pollution and quality of breathable air in China?  Needless to say, when you attend a job interview or get around to signing an employment contract, it is unlikely that you will be given solid data about the pollution and breathable air throughout China.

Recently Greenpeace China released the summary of its 2013 survey of Chinese air quality.  This report has been fully endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and acknowledged by the Chinese Government.

Of the many findings in the report, perhaps the most disturbing was of the 74 cities reviewed, none of them met the WHO’s recommendations for particulate matter (an example is soot from the burning of coal) of 2.5 micrometers or less (PM2.5). In 2012, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection established an annual standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter for PM2.5. The WHO recommends a maximum of 10 micrograms per cubic meter, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard is 12.

By recording the micrograms per cubic meter for PM2.5, an air quality index (AQI) calculation is formulated.  The table below defines the health implications for different AQI recordings.

AQI

Air Pollution Level

Health Implications

0 - 50

Good

Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk

51 -100

Moderate

Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.

101-150

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.

151-200

Unhealthy

Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects

201-300

Very Unhealthy

Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

300+

Hazardous

Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects

The worst polluted Chinese province is Hebei. Seven of its cities measured over 3 times the Chinese standard for PM2.5. The worst city of all was Xingtai in southern Hebei. It averaged 155.2 micrograms per cubic meter.

Beijing, often the focus of media attention with numerous international schools and educational institutions, finished 13th, with an average of 90.1, behind Xi’an and Tianjin among big cities, and just ahead of Wuhan and Chengdu.

Overall, northern China is much more polluted than southern China. Each of the top 13 most polluted cities were north of the Huai River, a traditional dividing line located in Henan.

Southern coastal cities are the least polluted. Each of Guangdong’s cities ranked among the 20 least polluted cities,  Both of Fuzhou’s cities, Fujian and Xiamen, met China’s standards, averaging 33.2 and 31.3 respectively. Haikou, on the topical island of Hainan, south of Guangdong, was the least polluted city of all, averaging 25.6 micrograms per cubic meter.  Although Haikou has relatively low pollution, it still exceeds the standards set by the WHO.

The 74 cities in the report were chosen because they are among the first to implement new air quality standards put in place by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.  There are literally hundreds of other cities, particularly in the industrial north that have not yet implemented the new air quality standards.  Many of these cities are heavily polluted and there is growing evidence that their level of pollution is excessively dangerous.

Compounding the problem of the terrible air quality, an official report issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Land and Resources (China Daily, 18/4/2014) identified that almost 20% of all arable farming land is contaminated as an outcome of the particles contained in the polluted air, combined with the excessive usage of chemicals used for fertilizers and run off from factories. Much of this land is under cultivation and the produce, such fruits, vegetables and dairy products, are sold throughout markets all over China.  Furthermore, the official report stated the following findings using Chinese contamination standards, which are more generous than those used in Western countries.

·         16.1% of mainland soil contaminated (11.2% slightly, 2.3% mildly, moderately 1.5%,  1.1% heavily)

·         19.4% of farmland contaminated (13.7 slightly, 2.8% mildly, 1.8% moderately,  1.1% heavily)

·         10% of woodland contaminated (5.9% slightly, 1.6% mildly, 1.2% moderately, 1.3 heavily)

·         10.4% of grassland contaminated (7.6% slightly, 1.2% mildly, 0.9% moderately, 0.7% heavily)

·         11.4% of unused land contaminated (8.4% slightly, 1.1% mildly, 0.9% moderately, 1.0% heavily)

To investigate further air quality index of various cities in China, go to this website http://aqicn.org/map/china/

The writer advises all parents and teachers to independently research the pollution situation and air quality of cities that they may be visiting or contemplating for long term accommodation. In terms of specifically selecting a school, some important questions to ask administrators and/or a relocation companies include:

1)      Does the school have a hospital grade air filtration system filtering indoor air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

2)      Does the school have its own air quality measurement facilities providing hourly air quality index updates? 

3)      In what ways are air quality index measurements communicated to the school community?

4)      Are there emergency procedures put into place and readily understood by the teaching faculty and student body when the air quality index reaches a benchmark considered to be unhealthy?

5)      Does the school have indoor playing and sporting facilities?

6)      Does the school have buses that have high quality air filtration systems?

7)      Are external surfaces of outdoor educational, playing and sporting facilities wiped clear of particulate matter at the start of the school day?

8)      Does the school have a nursing facility with well-stocked medicines and protocols to follow if a child suddenly is over-whelmed with breathing difficulties?

9)      As part of its duty of care, is the school undertaking ongoing research about effective ways of dealing with increasing levels of pollution and the poor quality of breathable air?

The news is not all doom and gloom.  There are some outstanding schools and educational institutions throughout China who are implementing strategies.  Taking the lead is undoubtedly The International School of Beijing (ISB), who have addressed most of the above questions and have invested significant funding to ensure their students are protected from pollution and have good quality air whilst on the school campuses. This included building two sports domes covering an area of about 8500 square metres at a cost of approximately 5 million dollars. These domes have the most up to date air filtration system, contain a five-a-side football oval, a 400 metres running track, a large general purpose playing area and six tennis courts. 

ISB has taken the lead.  They are a visionary and wealthy school capable of making significant financial investment.  This are setting the benchmark and mapping out a pathway for all other schools and educational institutions to follow, particularly in the most polluted cities to follow.  The writer believes that all international schools and educational institutions in China should consider building sporting domes, installing hospital grade air filtration systems and install air index measuring equipment onsite.  This will require considerable commitment on behalf of school owners and local and provincial governments and most significantly.  Pressure needs to be applied to schools to be proactive and this needs to come from the parental community.  All stakeholders associated with each international school and educational institution needs to join forces and implement solutions based on their own situational circumstances.  The days of school owners and government authorities avoiding the issue of pollution and lack of quality breathable air are gone. 

Of course, international schools and educational institutions make up just a tiny portion of the population of Chinese citizens.  What are future answers for Chinese cities?  Is it already too late?  Are we faced with the reality, where the only way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in a Chinese city is to build a mega-dome over the entire residential area of the city?  A scary thought, but one  that just may become reality in the not too distant future.

 

Is this the best hope for Chinese Cities?  This is a model dome envisioned as part of a project known as The Houston Dome.  To learn more, have a look at this video clip: http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/other-shows/videos/mega-engineering-saving-houston-with-a-dome.htm

 

To conclude, the top 20 worst polluted cities in China are as follows:

Ranking

City

Province

Average Annual PM2.5 Measure

Highest PM2.5 Measure

1

Xingtai

Hebei

155.2

688

2

Shijiazhuang

Hebei

148.5

676

3

Baoding

Hebei

127.9

675

4

Handan

Hebei

127.8

662

5

Hengshui

Hebei

120.6

712

6

Tangshan

Hebei

114.2

497

7

Jinan

Shandong

114.0

490

8

Langfang

Hebei

113.8

772

9

Xi’an

Shaanxi

104.2

598

10

Zhengzhou

Henan

102.4

422

11

Tianjin

Tianjin

95.6

394

12

Cangzhou

Hebei

93.6

380

13

Beijing

Beijing

90.1

646

14

Wuhan

Hubei

88.7

339

15

Chengdu

Sichuan

86.3

374

16

Wulumuqi

Xinjiang

85.2

387

17

Hefei

Anhui

84.9

383

18

Taizhou

Jiangsu

80.9

474

19

Taizhou

Jiangsu

80.8

513

20

Changsha

Hunan

79.1

325

Other notable cities:

24

Nanjing

Jiangsu

75.3

312

47

Qingdao

Shandong

61.7

280

48

Shanghai

Shanghai

60.7

421

55

Guangzhou

Guangdong

52.5

159

57

Dalian

Liaoning

50.7

224

 

 

 

Ranking

 

City

 

Province

The 10 least polluted cities

Average Annual PM2.5 Measure

 

Highest PM2.5 Measure

1

Haikou

Hainan

25.6

130

2

Lasha

Tibet

26.0

101

3

Xiamen

Fujian

31.3

89

4

Danshan

Zhejiang

32.1

353

5

Fuzhou

Fujian

33.2

112

6

Kunming

Yunnan

35.5

123

7

Huizhou

Guangdong

37.2

121

8

Zhuhai

Guangdong

37.9

157

9

Shenzhen

Guangdong

39.7

131

10

Zhangjiakou

Hebei

43.1

471

 

 

 

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