OSCA Hong Kong

OSCA Hong Kong 

The dates for the OSCA Hong Kong 2018 day camps are as yet unconfirmed but are likely to be similar to the 2017 dates, from around 10th July to10thAugust. The OSCA HK camps consist of three to five teams (one director followed by six volunteers per team) who all live together in the same accommodation for four to six weeks: one preparation week followed by five weeks of teaching in four to five schools. The day camps has a similar schedule as a normal school, which gives you the weekend and evenings with freedom to socialise, revive or explore Hong Kong.

The preparation week is about gaining ideas for your lessons through meeting other volunteers and drama workshops as well as going out to see the schools you will be teaching in. This gives you a better perspective as to what to expect and a chance to adapt your lessons to the school's resources. It's not all work though, the best part of this week is getting to know all the other volunteers! Last year, the plan included a boat trip, going down to a restaurant and drinking at The Ritz.

The camp requires volunteers to be able to adapt quickly to each school's individual needs. You will be teaching in both primary and secondary schools and the students may have come from international schools (with English more perfect than yours) or from disadvantaged schools where you only have a board and pen to teach with. As you work with a variety of schools and children, you do see yourself becoming a better teacher and understanding how children enjoy learning. You stay with each school for one week, so this requires you to be able to identify quickly each classes ability and to be able to adjust your lessons to suit them. School begins at 9am and a typical day includes three lessons in the morning, lunch, an hour of drama, afternoon activity and an afternoon event which ends at 4pm. 

Moreover, in the HK day camps, you will spend about a week being the 'manager'. This role requires you to work in the background to ensure the classes are running smoothly. You'll make sure all the teachers have the equipment they need, prepare for the afternoon events and act as an interface between the volunteers and staff in the school. The role is especially important during the opening and closing ceremony as you will be in charge of the technical duties (setting up microphones and presentations) and even if you have no experience, it's easy to learn.

You will also be working with Teaching Assistants (lifesavers to some of us), who are students from local universities that can speak both English and Cantonese. They will be able to help you in case you find a barrier between the children and yourself and to give you an extra hand around the class. The volunteers stay with a single class so they'll give you a better idea of what each student is like. BUT the TAs are not just people you work with. They'll give you an insight into the culture of Hong Kong, where to go and in general, they are great friends to make. 

The amazing part of the Hong Kong Camp is that there are so many people to meet from Oxbridge, especially as it is the biggest camp! Last year, we stayed in a university accommodation for the first five weeks and shared a room with a member from another team. This helped all of us to get to know people outside our teams. If you're planning on travelling after, it's almost guaranteed that you will find someone to travel with. Generally, both accommodations we stayed in (the second one was a top rated hostel) were clean, safe and located near an MTR so we could easily travel.

The City and Travelling

Hong Kong itself is an amazing city. A unique mix of East and West with dazzling skyscrapers towering over small noodle shops in one of Asia’s busiest cities. Colonial buildings from its British past mix with Buddhist temples, stunning beaches surrounded by mountains and a buzzing city with an amazing night life. Hong Kong is most definitely a pretty cool place to spend a month of your summer! 

Hong Kong is probably the best place in Asia from which to travel. Whether you want to travel in China, or fly to another South East Asian country like South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines or Cambodia, doing it from Hong Kong will be the cheapest way. Most people who do Camps in Hong Kong go travelling in China (and with over 30 other volunteers in this project, you will probably find someone who wants to go travelling in the same region as you do!). 

If after reading this there is any other info you’d like to have about this project or about Hong Kong, please email us.