Let’s take students to Hong Kong they said! It will be fun they said!!
When we talk about international field trips for students it usually starts with the benefits they will gain from international experiences, the change in their perspectives and the personal growth they will experience, we do not often talk about it from a staff perspective.
The lessons I learnt taking 12 students on a cultural experience trip to Hong Kong cannot be underestimated, and although it was challenging, daunting and it felt like a massive responsibility, I would most certainly do it again.
For some of the students Hong Kong was a real cultural shock, and watching them learn, explore and grow was a privilege. The group was a mixture of undergraduate levels and by the end of the trip they were firm friends, allowing me to really see the value of cross level collaboration. Highlights of the trip include watching some of them eat a sea worm, seeing them observe religion and worship in respectful silence and them not having wifi, encouraging them to see the world through their eyes rather than their screen.
Key things I learnt about planning a trip like this include, be clear with the students about your expectations from the start, run an induction session where the students complete all of the required paperwork and make it compulsory, and remember they may be adults but some of the decisions they make when half way around the world might make your head spin!
Vicky Norman, Senior Lecturer in Sport Business Management