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ACES International Logo

  November 2017





For Connecticut High School Students

boats on a canal in China

students in front of a statue in China

a building on a canal in China


Day 1 | USA - Beijing, China
Saturday, November 11

Our trip gets underway as we board the international flight bound for Beijing, the capital of modern-day China. Spend the night aboard the plane to rest, but make sure to take a few photos of the polar ice caps!

Day 2 | Beijing (D)
Sunday, November 12

Arrive in Beijing. After clearing customs and retrieving our baggage, we are met by our guide and transferred to the hotel for well-deserved rest and relaxation. An evening stroll around the local neighborhood to experience the daily life in Beijing.

Day 3 | Beijing (B,L,D) (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)   
Monday, November 13

After breakfast, our Beijing tour starts with a comprehensive visit to Tiananmen Square, the world's largest public space. Later we proceed to The Forbidden City, where for over 500 years, commoners were forbidden to enter. Next, we stroll into the Hutong alleys where traditional northern Chinese residential architecture is well preserved. After an immersive experience in the Hutong village, we will visit the Temple of Heaven to experience the place of prayers for the emperors. Finally we will experience martial arts before heading to dinner and back to the hotel for a restful evening.

Day 4 | Beijing (B,L,D)
Tuesday, November 14

Built to protect its people from northern marauders, The Great Wall snakes its way thousands of miles across Northern China. This morning we spend time walking atop this man-made wonder of the world and appreciate its imposing wonder. After your trek on the Great Wall, our next destination is the amazing Summer Palace- the summer home of the emperors and their royal families. Afterward, we stop at the Olympic Park where we will stroll and take photos at the “Bird's Nest” National Stadium and “Water Cube” Aquatics Center. Tonight we indulge our plates with the famed Peking Duck Banquet for dinner!

Day 5 | Beijing (B,L,D) [Service Day]
Wednesday, November 15

After breakfast, we visit a local high school to interact with Chinese students and teachers. This is our first visit to a traditional school where your supervised time will contribute to English language learning and school community initiatives. Student ambassadors will group-read books, interact with teachers to assist in class, and become a formal mentor to a classroom of interested students. After the school visit, we will travel to the famous 798 Art Zone where you can find the most modern Chinese art in various forms. Spend the afternoon speaking to gallery owners, visit the arts shows in progress, and stroll through the hundreds of artists shops to view their innovation and work on display. This jaw-dropping 11 block village is perfectly suited to share the influence of art in China amidst multimedia installations and ambitious projects from the country’s leading artists.

Terracotta Army Museum, Xi'an China

Terracotta Army Museum, Xi'an China

person writing in Chinese

Day 6 | Beijing-Xi'an (B,L,D) [Service Day]
Thursday, November 16

Today, we spend our entire day in service to a local charity school for underprivileged students. We will provide support to classrooms by connecting to students in their classroom as peer mentors during academic instructional time. Share your language and practice your Mandarin skills from our preparatory workshops. With celebratory goodbyes, we wish our new friends well and depart for the train station. This evening, we board a sleeping train to Xi'an, one of the most historic cities in the world, which is located in the western part of China.

Day 7 | Xi'an (B,L,D) 
Friday, November 17

In the early morning, we arrive in Xi'an by train. This morning we will visit a local school and connect with students on two levels - while we first learn about their school life and daily routines, we will provide presentations on our own lives in America to provide cultural insight to young students. This is a new learning priority for their education in these grade levels as you become the presenter for group-share activities as students rotate to each presenter. In the afternoon, we will visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Chinese History Museum of Xi'an before departing for the airport. This evening we take an evening flight to Shanghai, the biggest city in China!

Day 8 | Xi'an - Shanghai (B,L,D) [Service Day]
Saturday, November 18

This morning, we travel to experience the life-sized Terra cotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shi Huang – the world’s largest archeological dig. Today is a full and exciting learning day of history lessons and the science of archeology. Made to protect China's first emperor even in the after-life, the Terra cotta Army was uncovered by a farmer in 1974, and attracts thousands of visitors each year. After viewing the dig sites and viewing the soldiers, we visit the nearby Mausoleum of Qinshihuang and then return back to the city limits for a stroll along the top of the city’s Old City Wall. After a Dumpling Banquet dinner, we will take a walk at the famous Old Town Night Market to take in the sights and sounds of this bustling market street where you experience the local Xi'an culture in every step.

Day 9 | Shanghai (B,L,D) 
Sunday, November 19

This morning, we leave for Shanghai. It is the fastest developing city in the world for the last twenty years. Currently at a population of over 25 million people, Shanghai is the cosmopolitan center of Asia. This morning after breakfast, we take an exclusive tour of the city that brings us to the City Temple, the bustling commerce of Nanjing Road, the impressive Shanghai Museum, and the exotic waterfront Bund. We'll also have a chance to overlook Shanghai’s Oriental TV Tower and other world-renown sights as we experience Shanghai passing us by in this financial center of the globe.

Shanghai, China Skyline

Shanghai, China Freeways

Day 10 | Shanghai (B,L,D) [Service Day]
Monday, November 20

This morning, we will visit a local school in the Pudong area of Shanghai. While you each stay with local Chinese students for the day at school, you will provide language learning opportunities for them as they have a chance to practice English. Later in the day, we will convene as a group to assist in an afternoon school-wide initiative that highlights community building among the grade levels.

Day 11 | Shanghai - Suzhou (B,L,D) 
Tuesday, November 21

This morning we depart by luxury bus for Suzhou, an ancient city nearby Shanghai (about one-hour drive). As a picturesque city known as the “Venice of the East”, Suzhou was built around the Grand Canal, and possesses impressive classical gardens allowing Suzhou to be titled, the “Garden City”. In route, we will visit Zhouzhuang, an old-time water town which survived the wars and social turmoil in the past. We step into history and walk along the canals to experience a historically authentic element of China. Afterward, we will visit the Lingering Garden, and Lion's Net Garden, Hanshan Temple, a Silk Factory to learn and observe how intricate the silk-making process truly is, and end our day’s tour with a serene boat cruise on the ancient Grand Canal in Suzhou.

Tonight, we celebrate our accomplishments at dinner with a photo slideshow, reflecting back on all of our experiences, new friendships, new understandings, and most importantly - our new sense of pride in all that we achieved in the schools we visited.

Day 12 | Suzhou - Shanghai - U.S.. (B,L,) 
Wednesday, November 22

This morning we say our last goodbyes to China and board the homebound international jetliner. We bid a fond farewell to this incredible country, with hopes to expand upon our experiences again. You return to the US on November 21.

View of mountains and valley

Young girl in traditional Chinese outfit

Chinese girls at tables playing games

Staircase to temple in China


Our service project-learning tour is designed to provide highly inclusive experiences and culturally comprehensive learning for high school students. Our professional educator team is well-experienced in all facets of travel planning and preparation, societal etiquette and expectations, language, and student safety. We provide an inclusive experience for students and their families so they need not worry about the logistics of travel, language barriers, or maneuvering through foreign practices.

The AI team is experienced in each country that we lead learning tours in. Each day in our itinerary is time-tested, planned, and supports the needs of students that may not be acquainted with international travel in the destination country. This experience develops a cultural awareness that extends learning beyond the classroom environment as it proves to be relevant through real-world experience.

This service project-learning tour will build upon relevant connections between interpersonal and communication skills; self-reliance; and collaboration. Students will:

  • apply a global perspective to daily situations and their work with others; 
  • communicate with people whose native language is different from their own
  • work in collaborative settings with others;
  • identify and successfully resolve open-ended challenges through problem-solving and communication;
  • identify many possible solutions to a challenge as a collective team;
  • productively engage in civic affairs abroad as informed individuals, student ambassadors, and global citizens;
  • think beyond one’s native language, culture and societal norms to succeed with tasks and understand other perspectives;
  • harness their individual creativity and innovation to effectively demonstrate communication, empathy, teamwork, and creative problem-solving.

Price Includes:

  • Cultural Preparation Seminars: language and conversation; societal expectations; social practices; dining etiquette; history and current events; travel planning
  • Chinese Visa and Handling Fees
  • Economy-class, Round-trip Flight
  • All in-country domestic transportation
  • All Meals (B/ Breakfast, L/ Lunch, D/Dinner)
  • Full American & Chinese Breakfasts
  • One non-alcoholic beverage per meal
  • 4/5 Star Hotels
  • All Entrance Fees
  • English-speaking Field Guides and Historians
  • ACES International supervisory team

(Participants are welcome to pay in full ($2,800.00) before the 11/1/17 deadline).
1. (Due Before June 30) Non-refundable security deposit for reservation $500.00
2. (Due Before August 1) Minimum Payment of $600.00
3. (Due Before September 1) Minimum Payment of $600.00
4. (Due Before October 1) Minimum Payment of $600.00
5. (Due Before November 1) Minimum Payment of $500.00

Payments are payable to ACES INTERNATIONAL (Check Notation: Ambassadors)

Informational meeting June 19, 4:30 PM

at The Educational Center for the Arts

55 Audubon Street, New Haven, CT 06510

***Spots are limited to maintain a safe, personalized learning experience***

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