With COVID these days, sometimes, your city (or province, if lucky) becomes a country in itself. And why not? Instead of applying for visas, we apply for digital health codes. At WildChina Education, we’ve taken the ‘go local’ ethos to heart and have been tailoring programs on and off campus, and in and out of provinces for the past 3 years. Here is our free advice about where to take your groups for school trips in Xi’an, or where to take your students in Shaanxi province.
Here are our top 7 recommendations for a School trips in Xi’an
Zhangshancun, or literally translated to ‘Zhang (surname) mountain village’, is not somewhere you’d really be able to find on a map. A rustic village in Shaanxi that is truly off the beaten path, generations upon generations of people have been living here in caves. The visuals of when you first get there are very dramatic. We take students here regularly to learn about the construction of these dwellings and the special type of earth that the building brick blocks are made up of. This is also a great location for service learning in Xi’an as many of the homes need TLC due labor migration and the fact that, unlike concrete homes, they need to be maintained yearly.
Sichuan may be more popularly known as the home of the panda. However, Shaanxi – where Xi’an is located – is one of the three provinces to which pandas are native (Shaanxi traded in pandas for the Terracotta Warriors for their tourism brand marketing). Regardless, you only need to take your class two and a half hours out from the city center to reach the nature reserve located at Foping. There’s also a lot of great outdoors here which we immerse our students in to do wilderness survival in Xi’an curriculum and nature competency education.
If you want to take your students to study the intangible cultural heritages of Shaanxi, this is the perfect place. Our particular favorite here is our Ansai traditional drums course where students learn not only how to hammer out exciting rhythms using these classical instruments, but they also learn how to put one together.
If you’re a music teacher wanting to take your students on an immersive percussion version of the sound of music expedition, this is an ideal music field trip from Xi’an. Besides the drums, our staff work with local artisans to run paper cutting, knot making, pottery, and shadow play creating hands on workshops. There are great hikes around Shizhangcun too.
4. City Proper
If you really need to get your students off campus for a day but don’t want to go far, look no further than the WildChina Amazing race. A fabulously tailor-made scavenger hunt/timed & guided scavenger hunt through Xi’an’s old city, students will need to use our clues & NPCs to solve the historical mysteries surrounding Xi’an and its intensely rich past.
5. Hanyang Tombs
If you’re a resident of Xi’an, the historic site you’ve been to so far are probably 1. The Terracotta Warriors, 2. the Drum and Bell tower including the surrounding Muslim quarter and the 3. The Hanyang tombs.
However, our school field trip to Hanyang avoids the ticketed tourist site entirely and instead goes straight to an area adjacent to the actual dig site. WildChina Education school groups learn archaeological concepts in a hands-on workshop, so that students can go from being onlookers to feeling like participants in the living history that is the ongoing excavation of these tombs. All in all, this is a simple but educational primary school science field trip in Xi’an.
6. Daming Palace
Available as a standalone day program, taking students to the site of the Daming Palace is a great option for a math field trip in China or for students of architecture. We do a sample dig together with the students as well as take measurements of the site. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but believe it or not, as China’s leading experiential education provider (aka China school trips provider) we get a LOT of enquiries about math field trips!
7. Great Tang West Market
Traditionally, prior to COVID, WildChina had run a program called the Merchant’s Challenge where students travel from Dunhuang to Xi’an following the silk road in an immersive learning experience. Due to the current pandemic, we’ve modularized this 7-day program and one of those modules is a trade knowledge finale we run in the Great Tang West Market. Our incredibly fun out-of-the-classroom lesson is a blend of immersive theater, cosplay, quiz bowl, scavenger hunt, and critical problem-solving obstacle course all rolled into one.
We want to close out this list with what we always say and have never stopped believing even throughout the challenges of the pandemic. Learning outside of the classroom, the yearly school residentials, the subject based field trips, CAS trips, Duke of Edinburgh adventurous journeys – these are all parts of schooling that every student looks forward to. They are most often the ‘flashbulb’ memories that stay with us long after we graduate and enter society as adults.
Let’s not forget that time does not stop because planning and logistics become harder. Our kids in school now are racing towards graduation and the time window during which we can give them their field trips in China, or elsewhere, is shrinking.
Are you a school teacher looking for a school trip destination within Shanghai, within Beijing or within your province? Click through to read more.