Tour leaders Jackie Parks and Jackie Wilson have scheduled several information meetings for participants during the next 3 months. Each meeting will be held twice: once at Williston Central School and once at Manchester Elementary Middle School. While participants are welcome to attend both meetings, they’ll be pretty much a repeat of the same topics.

  Williston Central School meetings  

  Topics  

  Manchester Elementary Middle School meetings   

(click here for map)   (click here for map)
Wednesday, January 16th at 6:30pm    itinerary, orientation   Thursday, January 17th at 6:30pm

Wednesday, February 13th at 6:30pm

visa application

Tuesday, February 12th at 6:30pm
Thursday, March 28th at 6:30pm final details Wednesday, April 4th at 6:30pm

 

 


SPIRAL’s insights on the U.S. State Department’s recent announcement.  

Dear Friends,

Greetings from SPIRAL International. 

We are writing to assure you that American students and teachers are safe in traveling to and within China on organized education exchange trips.  We would also like to share with you our understanding of the U.S. State Department’s recent new travel advisory for traveling to China.  We believe that the advisory addresses a specific group of people – “dual US-Chinese nationals.”

As some of you may be aware, the U.S. State Dept. issued a new travel advisory on January 3, 2019 urging Americans to “exercise increased caution” when traveling to the People’s Republic of China because of “arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual US-Chinese nationals.” A few parents of students participating in SPIRAL’s China Tour in April have contacted us and expressed concern.  While we fully understand the parents’ concerns, we would like to share our understanding of the current situation. 

First of all, the advisory is directed most especially towards US-Chinese citizens or Americans of Chinese heritage who could be especially vulnerable to "additional scrutiny and harassment." This is one of the results of the recent U.S.- China trade war, and it is intensified by the incident of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei Technologies.

Secondly, the level-two advisory does not dissuade Americans from going China.  Thousands of Americans now conduct normal business with and travel to China without any incidents or issues.   Business Insider (a business news site launched in 2007) offers a good summary that further supports our insight about the current situation. In their analysis, it explains: “the level-two advisory doesn't dissuade Americans from going to China. In fact, countries such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom all boast level-two travel advisories. In addition, millions of Americans visit China every year without incident.”

Thirdly, SPIRAL is an education organization in good standing with a long history of organizing international education exchange activities and travel, for we have successfully organized visits to China for more than 30 groups of American students and educators since 2010.  SPIRAL’s 2019 China Trip is an organized U.S. students and teachers’ education exchange activity constructed on an invitation from Xiang Jiang Middle School, a SPIRAL partner school in Guangzhou, China. The group will be accompanied at all times by one or more members of SPIRAL’s competent, knowledgeable staff as well as a very experienced Chinese guide who has worked with SPIRAL groups for many years.  Furthermore, it is worth noting that a level-two advisory was also in effect during 2018 spring trip, for exactly the same reasons. During that trip, not only were all the students and teachers safe, but they also had an excellent, joyful experience.

Once again, while we fully understand your concerns, we believe that the level-two travel advisory should not dissuade American students and teachers from visiting China on an organized education exchange trip.  That being said, we are monitoring the situation closely, and we will keep you informed of any new developments.  Please do not hesitant to contact us to address any questions and concerns you may have.  We are more than happy to help you in any way we can.

Thank you very much.

Michele Hirsch
China Trip Coordinator
SPIRAL International

 

April 2019: SPIRAL is offering TWO different China Tours!!

Join us as we explore four of China’s most important and fascinating cities, tour its historical monuments and buildings, and savor its renowned cuisine.

China History & Culture Tour for educators and students

  • Beijing Chongqing Chengdu Shanghai
  • $3,600 (includes air fare)
  • April 15 to 27, 2019
  • Includes 4 days of activities in a Chinese school
  • Teachers are encouraged to apply for professional development funds
  • Scholarships available for students (click here for info)
  • Click for itinerary and trip overview.

China Paths of Spirituality Tour for adults and teens

  • Beijing Chongqing Chengdu Xi’an
  • $3,800 (includes air fare)
  • Mid-April, 2019 (exact dates to be determined)
  • Includes visits to places of worship for five different major religions
  • Click for itinerary and trip overview.

All prices include round-trip international airfare to Beijing, hotel, meals, transportation within China, entertainment, tour guides, and international travel insurance. Visa application fee not included. Minimum group size is 15.

Tour Highlights:

Beijing – the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and of course, the Great Wall

Chongqing – home of Hot Pot and other spicy Sichuan dishes

Chengdu – the world-famous Giant Panda Center

Shanghai (educators and students) – modern China’s center of technology and international trade

Xi’an (adults and teens) – the Terracotta Soldiers

Click for registration forms: students, teachers, other adults, scholarship instructions.