OSCA Hong Kong Day Camps 2012


‘’OSCA is one of the most amazing things I have ever done’’.

After spending 6 weeks in Hong Kong, teaching, shopping, eating and being cultural we all felt that we had gained invaluable life experiences in this incredible place!

Our arrival in Hong Kong on the 7th and 8th July marked the start of Prep Week. We met our roommates (with whom we all got along with, fortunately), unpacked, formed first impressions, and then it all began! Prep Week eased us into the Hong Kong lifestyle, allowing us to meet our teaching assistants and offering enough time to explore, by going on boat trips, visiting Giant Buddhas and trying authentic Asian food. Oh, and we also had some meetings during which we prepared for our teaching! 

The beginning of the second week meant splitting into our three teams and going off to separate schools where we would experience teaching, many of us for the first time. I’m not going to lie; it was hard at the beginning. But after a few days we all got into it and actually started teaching the kids a thing or two! We adapted our lesson plans to the ability and age of the students, started writing our plays (which our class would perform at the end of each week) and we discovered an incredible number of things you can make out of newspaper and bin bags! By the end of the week we were exhausted but proud of our students and also ourselves, for getting through those first challenges!

Each team visited a new school almost every week and this gave us the opportunity to interact with lots of students from different age groups and backgrounds. Drama was the most amusing part of teaching as the imagination of the kids saw no boundaries! Taylor Swift falls in love with Iron Man, but King Kong decides that they shouldn’t be together so calls in Harry Potter for help. The students incorporated a dance to ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ to complete this masterpiece! We discovered One Direction to be a favourite amongst Hong Kong teenagers and needless to say, none of us can ever listen to them again! When our classes performed their plays at the Closing Ceremony, we all felt a great sense of satisfaction and pride for them, despite their tendency to forget their lines or burst into uncontrollable laughter on stage!

As well as drama, we organised afternoon events such as fashion shows, song contests, mini Olympics and bridge building; the kids particularly loved the competitive element! Of course we enjoyed the judging too, and more often than not we would award our own class with a 10/10, overlooking them not singing loud enough or not using enough tape to stop their hat from coming apart.

Our afternoons, evenings and weekends were filled with hard-earned rest or exploring Hong Kong. We visited countless temples, museums, markets and malls as well as Macau and Ocean Park. We discovered beaches, fishing villages, picturesque hiking trails and Michelin starred dim sum restaurants with a bonus firsthand experience of a monsoon for good measure! 

Our camp ended on August 17th, with hugs, goodbyes and promises to catch up at uni. Many of us went travelling to Southeast Asia and China (taking advantage of the cheap flights) while others started internships a few days later back in the UK. The whole teaching experience was immensely rewarding and unlike any other available to university students. OSCA enabled us to bond with other Oxbridge students and to create long-lasting friendships with our teaching assistants from Hong Kong. We not only learned to be independent in a place halfway around the world, thousands of miles from our comfort zone but also formed memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives!

Day Camp Daily Routine:
7:30     Wake up, have breakfast and get on the minibus  
9:00     Start the first lesson of the day with your own class
10:00   Rotate and teach the same lesson to a different class
11:00   Rotate and teach the same lesson to a different class
12:00   Finally, lunch time!!
13:00   Drama games, students write a script, create a dance for the play
14:00   Afternoon activity: ball game, drawing, origami
14:30   Afternoon event: fashion show, song contest, bridge building
16:00   Clear up classrooms, discuss how fun/disastrous the day was
16:30   Nap on minibus until we reach home!