China

Orphans of Beijing

Live in Beijing and make a difference in the lives of those who, by no fault of their own, have been left behind. You’ll lend your heart, hands and mind to ensure that these children have a meaningful and happy future. When you’re not changing their lives, change your own through deep exposure to Chinese culture. You’ll experience dazzling martial arts demonstrations, calligraphy classes, and traditional cooking lessons. You’ll also learn how the modern world interacts with ancient history at the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and more.

  • Days
  • Service
  • Students
  • Age
  • Availability
  • Tuition (USD)
Session 1 / Jun 23 - Jul 13, 2017
  • 21
  • 100 hours
  • 12
  • 14 - 18
  • Limited
  • $5,170
Session 2 / Jul 15 - Aug 4, 2017
  • 21
  • 100 hours
  • 12
  • 14 - 18
  • Limited
  • $5,170

Service Focus

  • Humanitarian Support

Adventure

  • Cultural Exploration
  • Hiking & Walking Tours
  • Land Sports

Environment

  • Urban
  • Rural
  • Mountains

The Journey

Your Adventure Starts Here

Ni Hao! Welcome to China!

2 Days

Our journey begins! Students have the option of flying to Beijing (PEK) via Detroit (DTW) on a preselected group itinerary, or students can fly independently. For students flying via DTW, GoBeyond arranges for an airport representative to assist with the transfer. In some cases, this representative is one of the group leaders and flies with the students to the journey destination. In other cases, he/she is a local contact responsible for airport assistance but will not be on the flight to Beijing. Due to time zone differences, our group flight typically lands in China the day after departure. After arrival in Beijing, students are met at the airport by GoBeyond’s professional staff and transferred to our comfortable and clean apartment home. First day activities include a fantastic Chinese welcome dinner, GoBeyond’s orientation, check-in, and icebreakers.

Service Days in Beijing

12 Days

Students spend the majority of their trip in Beijing. A typical day in this bustling capital city includes community service shifts with disabled babies and toddlers. Students facilitate nurturing play, feed/dress the children, and tend to the nursery.

Service Days in Beijing

(cont.)

Little Flower group homes provide a loving and supportive environment for older (elementary to high school), unadopted orphans to gain an education and future. GoBeyond students lead arts and crafts and sports activities for these children, as well as facilitate informal English lessons and cultural exchanges.

Service Days in Beijing

(cont.)

The Roundabout Donation Center – much like your thrift store at home – provides a much needed outlet for collecting and reselling basic goods. GoBeyond students assist this center by organizing and sorting clothing, books, and other items. Our work benefits all sides, as Roundabout’s proceeds are donated directly to local non-profits like Little Flower.

Shanxi Excursion

3 Days

GoBeyond students work hard, but also play hard. To supplement the service work of Beijing, students embark on an exciting adventure to Shanxi Province. Near the city of Datong lies an ancient Buddhist grotto. These famed Buddhist Caves are one of the most famous rock-cut sculptural sites in all of China. You’ll need a wide-angle lens to capture the full beauty of this site, as some sculptures and caves are over 50 feet tall!

Shanxi Excursion

(cont.)

Constructed over 1,500 years ago, the hanging temples near Mount Heng in Shanxi Province are kept in place with oak crossbeams fitted into holes chiseled into the cliffs. Appropriately named the “Hanging Monastery,” GoBeyond students are offered an opportunity to explore this unique cultural wonder. Just don’t look down, as the view from the top is not for the faint of heart!

Shanxi Excursion

(cont.)

Shanxi also offers GoBeyond students the chance to learn more about the orphan issue. Little Flower’s first missions began here, as many orphans originate from this area. Students are able to tour the foundations of Little Flower’s beginnings, as well as volunteer for an afternoon in a local state-run orphanage.

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The Need We Address

Although China has made huge strides in economic development over the last thirty years, it remains a relatively poor country. The population, at 1.3 billion, is enormous, and the number of poor is staggering. There is almost no financial help from the government for medical care or for the poor who want to raise their own families. In order to alleviate some of the economic problems, in 1979, the government introduced the “One-Child Policy” and officially restricted the number of children married couples could have. As a result, many children, especially the disabled, were abandoned.

In China, we partner with the Little Flower Foundation to assist with their disabled orphan programs. The infant homes provide intensive care to babies who have complex medical needs. We focus on caring for babies born prematurely, those with club feet, and babies with birth defects or illness. The babies stay with Little Flower until they are strong enough to join families of their own. In addition, we work with group homes that allow physically disabled school age orphans to live in a supportive family environment while attending school and acquiring life skills that will allow them to one day live independently. Children with a wide range of physical disabilities are nurtured, including spina bifida, cerebral palsy, limb deformities, speech difficulties, deafness and visual impairment.

Learn More

  • Get Our Free Online Brochure

    Full of detailed information about our journeys, staff, and FAQs for you to access anytime
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
“This experience has been extremely valuable for me. I feel I have matured significantly over the course of the past three weeks. When I went into this experience, I expected it to be hard and it certainly was. But I didn't expect that the hardest part would be leaving. This trip, the kids, have helped me to become a better person in so, so many ways.”
Cason C.Lawrenceville, NJ
China Student Cason C.

Closing Activities

2 Days

The last days are always so hard! – so hard to say goodbye to the lovely children. To round off their stay, students facilitate final activities and a party with the children they’ve grown so fond of over the past few weeks. Students have a grand feast on their final night, and, perhaps, shed a few tears during our slide show and closing program. Without fail, there is a mix of emotions – there is excitement to return home; there is sadness to leave. On the final day of the trip, students are transferred to the Beijing airport by our professional staff, checked in, then travel on to their respective homes and families. Yet the journey continues for each individual in undefinable ways. The lessons we learn and the personal growth we gain through GoBeyond China are things we can never forget.

By Rachel S.

Once In A Lifetime

  At approximately 6am today we were rocked awake by the moving train (and Catherine shaking us), as we arrived...

Read More
By Olivia N.

Babies and More Babies

Our second full day in China was a success!!!!   First, we all got up around 8AM, and soon after...

Read More
By Sarah M. & Sheindel G.

Thirst For Cultural Knowledge

After an amazing night service at Dewdrops Little Flower, we started up the day withal of toast, eggs and cereal....

Read More
By Claire B. and Moshe G.

Babies and Art!

  Good Morning, team! We woke up this morning from a great night of sleep and ate French toast and...

Read More
By Nicholas J.

Chinese Culture In Xi’An

  Today, we woke up on the train on the way to Xi-An. The train was such an exciting experience...

Read More

Trip Logs

Ni Hao! Welcome to China!

2 Days

Our journey begins! Students have the option of flying to Beijing (PEK) via Detroit (DTW) on a preselected group itinerary, or students can fly independently. For students flying via DTW, GoBeyond arranges for an airport representative to assist with the transfer. In some cases, this representative is one of the group leaders and flies with the students to the journey destination. In other cases, he/she is a local contact responsible for airport assistance but will not be on the flight to Beijing. Due to time zone differences, our group flight typically lands in China the day after departure. After arrival in Beijing, students are met at the airport by GoBeyond’s professional staff and transferred to our comfortable and clean apartment home. First day activities include a fantastic Chinese welcome dinner, GoBeyond’s orientation, check-in, and icebreakers.

Service Days in Beijing

12 Days

Students spend the majority of their trip in Beijing. A typical day in this bustling capital city includes community service shifts with disabled babies and toddlers. Students facilitate nurturing play, feed/dress the children, and tend to the nursery.

Service Days in Beijing

(cont.)

Little Flower group homes provide a loving and supportive environment for older (elementary to high school), unadopted orphans to gain an education and future. GoBeyond students lead arts and crafts and sports activities for these children, as well as facilitate informal English lessons and cultural exchanges.

Service Days in Beijing

(cont.)

The Roundabout Donation Center – much like your thrift store at home – provides a much needed outlet for collecting and reselling basic goods. GoBeyond students assist this center by organizing and sorting clothing, books, and other items. Our work benefits all sides, as Roundabout’s proceeds are donated directly to local non-profits like Little Flower.

The Need We Address

Although China has made huge strides in economic development over the last thirty years, it remains a relatively poor country. The population, at 1.3 billion, is enormous, and the number of poor is staggering. There is almost no financial help from the government for medical care or for the poor who want to raise their own families. In order to alleviate some of the economic problems, in 1979, the government introduced the “One-Child Policy” and officially restricted the number of children married couples could have. As a result, many children, especially the disabled, were abandoned.

In China, we partner with the Little Flower Foundation to assist with their disabled orphan programs. The infant homes provide intensive care to babies who have complex medical needs. We focus on caring for babies born prematurely, those with club feet, and babies with birth defects or illness. The babies stay with Little Flower until they are strong enough to join families of their own. In addition, we work with group homes that allow physically disabled school age orphans to live in a supportive family environment while attending school and acquiring life skills that will allow them to one day live independently. Children with a wide range of physical disabilities are nurtured, including spina bifida, cerebral palsy, limb deformities, speech difficulties, deafness and visual impairment.

Learn More

  • Get Our Free Online Brochure

    Full of detailed information about our journeys, staff, and FAQs for you to access anytime
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Shanxi Excursion

3 Days

GoBeyond students work hard, but also play hard. To supplement the service work of Beijing, students embark on an exciting adventure to Shanxi Province. Near the city of Datong lies an ancient Buddhist grotto. These famed Buddhist Caves are one of the most famous rock-cut sculptural sites in all of China. You’ll need a wide-angle lens to capture the full beauty of this site, as some sculptures and caves are over 50 feet tall!

Shanxi Excursion

(cont.)

Constructed over 1,500 years ago, the hanging temples near Mount Heng in Shanxi Province are kept in place with oak crossbeams fitted into holes chiseled into the cliffs. Appropriately named the “Hanging Monastery,” GoBeyond students are offered an opportunity to explore this unique cultural wonder. Just don’t look down, as the view from the top is not for the faint of heart!

Shanxi Excursion

(cont.)

Shanxi also offers GoBeyond students the chance to learn more about the orphan issue. Little Flower’s first missions began here, as many orphans originate from this area. Students are able to tour the foundations of Little Flower’s beginnings, as well as volunteer for an afternoon in a local state-run orphanage.

“This experience has been extremely valuable for me. I feel I have matured significantly over the course of the past three weeks. When I went into this experience, I expected it to be hard and it certainly was. But I didn't expect that the hardest part would be leaving. This trip, the kids, have helped me to become a better person in so, so many ways.”
Cason C.Lawrenceville, NJ
China Student Cason C.
  • Chat With GoBeyond Alumni

    Enter your email below, and we'll send you some alumni references
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Closing Activities

2 Days

The last days are always so hard! – so hard to say goodbye to the lovely children. To round off their stay, students facilitate final activities and a party with the children they’ve grown so fond of over the past few weeks. Students have a grand feast on their final night, and, perhaps, shed a few tears during our slide show and closing program. Without fail, there is a mix of emotions – there is excitement to return home; there is sadness to leave. On the final day of the trip, students are transferred to the Beijing airport by our professional staff, checked in, then travel on to their respective homes and families. Yet the journey continues for each individual in undefinable ways. The lessons we learn and the personal growth we gain through GoBeyond China are things we can never forget.

By Rachel S.

Once In A Lifetime

  At approximately 6am today we were rocked awake by the moving train (and Catherine shaking us), as we arrived...

Read More
By Olivia N.

Babies and More Babies

Our second full day in China was a success!!!!   First, we all got up around 8AM, and soon after...

Read More
By Sarah M. & Sheindel G.

Thirst For Cultural Knowledge

After an amazing night service at Dewdrops Little Flower, we started up the day withal of toast, eggs and cereal....

Read More
By Claire B. and Moshe G.

Babies and Art!

  Good Morning, team! We woke up this morning from a great night of sleep and ate French toast and...

Read More
By Nicholas J.

Chinese Culture In Xi’An

  Today, we woke up on the train on the way to Xi-An. The train was such an exciting experience...

Read More

Trip Logs

“My daughter was comfortable from the start because of the quality of the program. The program was a perfect combination of community service and travel, and the counselors were first rate.”
Zulekha L. - Newport, RI
“The service aspect of the trip was the most fulfilling, rewarding, and challenging thing I have ever done. To make my experience even more significant than it already was, the people I met and the memories I made will last a lifetime. ”
Olivia N. - Alexandria, VA
“My experience with GoBeyond completely changed my life. As I am getting used to being back home, just looking around my community I am already looking for ways to help.”
Nicholas J. - Savannah, GA
“This trip truly changed my life and how I think of the world in a new and more caring view. The experiences and friendships I have gained from this trip are so unforgettable. The balance between service and excursions was so unique. I hope other people get the opportunity to do one of these trips because it is definitely the trip of lifetime. ”
Renata F. - Des Plaines, IL
“My daughter had an amazing experience. She had a wonderful time while working as part of a group to help others. The program fosters both independence and cooperation. It could not have been more perfect.”
Barbara K. - New York, NY

Need More Information?

Affiliates

GoBeyond is a proud supporter of local, national, and international service organizations around the world.

In China, students have the opportunity to work closely with local people – especially children – on projects where the need is authentic and the results are long-lasting. Little Flower’s orphans have a high rate for adoption, in part due to the nurturing and educational environment our students help create. When our time is up, we provide much needed financial help with a direct donation, which helps fund Little Flower projects in an ongoing way. Consider your impact…join GoBeyond this summer and make a difference!

  • China Little Flower Logo

    China Little Flower

    In China, GoBeyond students volunteer with the Little Flower Foundation. With a mission of "reaching out to those who are rejected...," Little Flower is a registered non-profit with a focus on caring for abandoned children in their family homes and through foster care. Little Flower also aids women in crisis with unexpected pregnancies and provides medical care and surgeries to children in poor families.

Need To Know

Is this journey right for me?

This journey is geared toward those who are genuinely interested in making a positive change in the lives of others. Whether you know you’re good with children or you don’t have any experience, this journey will show you how much fun service can be. Although China might be far from home, this journey is ideal for someone’s first time abroad as well as a seasoned traveller. Working with orphans can be an emotional roller coaster but you’ll come home with your eyes open and your heart softened. If you’re looking for a summer experience that will allow you to make a difference and grow as a person in a fascinating place then look no further.

What's the group like?

There’s really no rigid mold that GoBeyond participants are cut from. Since our students come from different backgrounds all over the world, the groups end up being naturally diverse. Everyone arrives with different goals, expectations, hopes, and fears but they quickly find common ground and begin to bond. The GoBeyond environment allows team members to connect quickly and become closer friends than anyone would expect. Many students report leaving feeling as though they had known their fellow students much longer than they actually had.

Our philosophy revolves around small group sizes that are still large enough to foster a sense of community. For this journey, we’ve found that a group size of maximum 18 students works best. This journey does not require any previous experience, skills, or language fluency – only a willingness to get involved and appreciate each incredible adventure.

Who are the staff?

GoBeyond is proud to attract and recruit the best in our field. Our summer staff consists of avid world travelers, highly qualified professionals, and fun and experienced facilitators and educators. All members of our team are dynamic, multi-talented, and passionate individuals with a devotion and commitment to the safety and experience of our students.

The average age of our summer staff is 26. Staff skills are journey specific, such as holding a maritime license in the BVIs or having a background in childcare for China. All staff are First Aid and CPR certified, and many hold advanced training certificates such as Wilderness First Responder or EMT. Along with local guides and our community service partners, the ratio of staff to students is approximately 1:5. This enables close interaction and individualized attention during the journey.

Learn More About Our Staff

What do I need to bring?

GoBeyond students are responsible for carrying their luggage from place to place. As such, we recommend that you keep things simple and avoid overpacking. Students are given the opportunity to do laundry throughout the trip, so there’s no need to pack several weeks worth of clothing.

Our hope is that families will have minimal purchases prior to the trip, so we’ve compiled our packing lists in a way that you’ll find most of what you need in your closet at home. Around mid to late March, we make available our Pre-Trip Packet to enrolled students, which contains a detailed packing list for this year’s journey. If you’d like to see last year’s packing list as an example, you can download it here.

Download Sample Packing List

During the China trip, students will need approximately $500 USD in cash. This cash is used for two purposes…

“Travel and Reserve Cash” ($200) is held in safekeeping by our staff during the journey. Its intended use is for anticipated travel needs to and from the journey destination and for any unanticipated emergency costs that might arise such as doctor’s visits. Any leftover cash at the end of the journey is returned to the student.

GoBeyond will pay all major journey costs while traveling and working, but there will also be opportunities for students to spend money on personal items. For a student’s personal “Spending Cash” ($300), the most common expenses include phone/internet time, souvenirs, and snacks. Based on our past experience, some students will spend less and some will spend more than our recommendation above. Judge this amount by the spending habits of your student. Please set up boundaries for its use, as GoBeyond cannot be responsible for monitoring student spending. If you are concerned about loss or theft, students can give staff up to $150 of their spending cash to be put into safekeeping/drawn later.

Where do we stay?

Typically in Beijing, our China students stay in a local apartment that our service partner, Little Flower, rents for our use. Using an apartment instead of hotels offers numerous benefits, as our students are able to have common cooking and living areas. Plus fostering this intimate sense of community is important to our work with orphans. When traveling outside of Beijing, the GoBeyond China group stays in comfortable and clean hotels.

What do we eat?

GoBeyond’s tuition covers all meals after arrival in the host country. We strive for healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals, and serve a mixture of local and international fare (including Western). For our China journey, we eat at local restaurants as well as cook in-house. We often hire a private chef for special dinners at the apartment, while student “Chefs of the Day” make basic breakfasts and lunches for the group. Learning to cook and clean as a community is part of the fun in China!

Note, as GoBeyond is a health-conscious program, our staff do not provide large quantities of “junk” food (i.e. sodas, chips, candy bars, large desserts, etc.). Students can always supplement our meals and snacks by shopping locally for their own items.

During the application process, families can inform us of any dietary allergies or restrictions. We are usually able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians, etc., as well as various food allergies. However, if your student has a severe allergy to peanuts or other common substances, please call our office to discuss the options.

Nitty Gritty

Flights
How To Book Flights

GoBeyond students come from all over the world, so coordinated travel is of vital importance. For this reason, we strongly suggest that students book flights with our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez of TRC Travel Center (T: +1.281.528.7727 or 800.329.9000 • E: leahctn68@hotmail.com). Leah obtains great fares and provides close monitoring and assistance on travel days in case of flight difficulties. Since we have no ability to access or modify flight bookings that are not purchased through Leah, GoBeyond cannot be responsible for the coordination of flights not booked through TRC Travel Center.

  • Preferred Itinerary – Each year, GoBeyond works with TRC Travel Center to select a preferred itinerary to/from Beijing, China (PEK) via Detroit (DTW). GoBeyond strongly encourages U.S.-based families to book on our recommended route, so that students can fly together as a team. Please bear in mind, however, that GoBeyond has no control over the number of participants that choose to fly via DTW. Depending on the desires of other participants, the number of students traveling on the recommended route can vary greatly.
  • Alternate Itineraries – As students come from all over the U.S. and world, it is not required that students book on our preferred itinerary.  For non-U.S. based students, those looking to use frequent flier miles, or others who are not booking with TRC Travel Center or on our preferred flight itinerary, please contact our office prior to booking to ensure you are arriving and departing China at appropriate times. Note that the journey start date (as shown above) is the date upon which the GoBeyond group flight departs DTW in the U.S. Due to time zone differences, the group flight may actually land in PEK the day after. The journey end date is the date upon which the GoBeyond group flight departs PEK.
  • Airport Assistance – Our office team actively monitors and supports our participants on travel days. We suggest that students travel with a cell phone, as this can be useful for communication to and from the program. For certain flight connections, GoBeyond also offers onsite airport assistance…
    • Preferred Itinerary (Outbound flight, DTW to PEK) – In some instances, particularly for the first session of the summer, GoBeyond has a group leader who flies with the students on the preferred itinerary at the start of the trip. When a group leader is not able to travel with the students on this outbound flight, GoBeyond will typically hire a representative for the DTW airport who is responsible for helping troubleshoot any flight/connection issues that may arise.
    • Preferred Itinerary (Inbound flight, PEK to DTW) – On occasion, particularly for the last session of the summer, a group leader will return to the U.S. on the preferred flight with the students. If a staff member is not able to return with the students, GoBeyond will not typically hire an in-airport representative for DTW. This is due to the lack of an onsite representative’s ability to attend to customs/immigration issues and ongoing connection coordination when they do not arrive with the students.

Air transportation to and from the program is not included in the GoBeyond tuition fee. Please contact Leah for sample itineraries and an estimation of the international flight cost. For more information on airport assistance, please contact our office. We will be glad to let you know what type of support we typically offer for your journey (specific plans will only be available nearer the travel date).

Travel Docs & Vaccinations
Skip the stress and plan ahead

GoBeyond cannot apply for passports or visas on a student’s behalf, but we can provide the information you need to do so yourself. At the time of writing, students traveling on U.S. passports need a visa (application instructions are provided upon enrollment) and must have 6+ months of validity after the arrival date in China. For the most up-to-date and thorough information, please visit travel.state.gov. Students traveling on non-U.S. passports should verify passport and visa requirements for your nationality by contacting your local Chinese embassy or consulate.

GoBeyond understands that families have varying opinions on vaccinations. Some greatly desire the precaution; others prefer to avoid possible side effects of certain medications such as anti-malarials. Coupled with the fact that each student has unique medical considerations known best by his or her doctor, GoBeyond does not supply medical advice. We recommend that all families refer to the expertise of the CDC (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel), their health care providers, and/or a travel clinic.

Tuition
GoBeyond tuition fees cover the following:
  • All in-country journey accommodation, meals, and ground transportation
  • Full-time service adventure staff, local guides, and tips
  • All group activities including service projects and materials, sight-seeing trips, and educational excursions
  • Physical and monetary donations to our partner organizations
  • One certificate of the President’s Volunteer Service Award (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only) upon successful completion of the journey

Not included in the GoBeyond tuition fees are personal expenses such as the cost of obtaining passports, visas, vaccinations, airport taxes, extra baggage fees, health and travel insurance, medical and evacuation expenses, personal spending money, e-mail, phone calls, laundry, souvenirs, etc. As students come from all over the world, air transportation is not included. Please see the Flights tab for more details.

OUR 6 WEEK PROGRAMS

Any two consecutive journeys can be joined to form one extended course. In the interim between journeys, students stay with staff. The total cost is determined by combining the cost of each journeys and subtracting the 5% extended course discount (this discount also applies toward any trips adjoining our sister program ActionQuest). GoBeyond and ActionQuest enrollment for any two journeys in the same summer will be considered as a single extended program in the event of withdrawal or dismissal from the trip at any time.

Itinerary
Living in the moment

Though the fundamentals of our journeys do not change, specific journey logistics evolve over time. It is typical for our community service partners to not choose our project areas until late spring/early summer, thus the final touches on our itineraries are not always set until then. The journey overview portions of this page should give families a basic understanding of the kinds of activities we do on the journey. We also suggest last year’s Trip Updates if you need more descriptions. For the most up-to-date information on our expected itineraries, feel free to Contact our office.

With that in mind, we encourage all participants to “live in the moment” while on the journey. Travel, even on organized trips, requires flexibility and a willingness to accept adversity and change. Your journey country may not be as efficient, orderly, and/or timely as you are use to. We hope you’ll take the bumps in stride, and enjoy the adventure!

Service Hours
Service Hours, Letters & Awards

After the completion of summer, all students (U.S. and non-U.S. students alike) receive a GoBeyond service letter reflecting their participation on the journey.* The GoBeyond service letter describes the type of service work performed, the number of hours awarded, and is printed and signed on our letterhead. Typically, our letter is accepted by most high schools/colleges as proof of community service participation. If your school needs a specific form signed or evaluation filled out, please make sure to bring this on the trip so a staff member can assist you.

President's Volunteer Service AwardPresident’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) – In addition, GoBeyond is a certifying organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation established the award program as a way to thank and honor individuals who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. GoBeyond is able to award the PVSA to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have completed 100 hours of service during his/her journey. Please note that GoBeyond does not make the rules regarding who is eligible for the PVSA. Eligibility criteria is set by the governmental agency and, at this point in time, non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents are not eligible to receive the award. 

Learn More About The PVSA

* Note: Presence alone does not necessarily earn students the community service hours. GoBeyond reserves the right to deduct hours due to non-participation and/or early dismissal. Participants who work hard and participate in all journey activities will receive the full number of service hours available for their program.

  • Flights
  • Travel Docs & Vaccinations
  • Tuition
  • Itinerary
  • Service Hours
  • How To Book Flights

    GoBeyond students come from all over the world, so coordinated travel is of vital importance. For this reason, we strongly suggest that students book flights with our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez of TRC Travel Center (T: +1.281.528.7727 or 800.329.9000 • E: leahctn68@hotmail.com). Leah obtains great fares and provides close monitoring and assistance on travel days in case of flight difficulties. Since we have no ability to access or modify flight bookings that are not purchased through Leah, GoBeyond cannot be responsible for the coordination of flights not booked through TRC Travel Center.

    • Preferred Itinerary – Each year, GoBeyond works with TRC Travel Center to select a preferred itinerary to/from Beijing, China (PEK) via Detroit (DTW). GoBeyond strongly encourages U.S.-based families to book on our recommended route, so that students can fly together as a team. Please bear in mind, however, that GoBeyond has no control over the number of participants that choose to fly via DTW. Depending on the desires of other participants, the number of students traveling on the recommended route can vary greatly.
    • Alternate Itineraries – As students come from all over the U.S. and world, it is not required that students book on our preferred itinerary.  For non-U.S. based students, those looking to use frequent flier miles, or others who are not booking with TRC Travel Center or on our preferred flight itinerary, please contact our office prior to booking to ensure you are arriving and departing China at appropriate times. Note that the journey start date (as shown above) is the date upon which the GoBeyond group flight departs DTW in the U.S. Due to time zone differences, the group flight may actually land in PEK the day after. The journey end date is the date upon which the GoBeyond group flight departs PEK.
    • Airport Assistance – Our office team actively monitors and supports our participants on travel days. We suggest that students travel with a cell phone, as this can be useful for communication to and from the program. For certain flight connections, GoBeyond also offers onsite airport assistance…
      • Preferred Itinerary (Outbound flight, DTW to PEK) – In some instances, particularly for the first session of the summer, GoBeyond has a group leader who flies with the students on the preferred itinerary at the start of the trip. When a group leader is not able to travel with the students on this outbound flight, GoBeyond will typically hire a representative for the DTW airport who is responsible for helping troubleshoot any flight/connection issues that may arise.
      • Preferred Itinerary (Inbound flight, PEK to DTW) – On occasion, particularly for the last session of the summer, a group leader will return to the U.S. on the preferred flight with the students. If a staff member is not able to return with the students, GoBeyond will not typically hire an in-airport representative for DTW. This is due to the lack of an onsite representative’s ability to attend to customs/immigration issues and ongoing connection coordination when they do not arrive with the students.

    Air transportation to and from the program is not included in the GoBeyond tuition fee. Please contact Leah for sample itineraries and an estimation of the international flight cost. For more information on airport assistance, please contact our office. We will be glad to let you know what type of support we typically offer for your journey (specific plans will only be available nearer the travel date).

  • Skip the stress and plan ahead

    GoBeyond cannot apply for passports or visas on a student’s behalf, but we can provide the information you need to do so yourself. At the time of writing, students traveling on U.S. passports need a visa (application instructions are provided upon enrollment) and must have 6+ months of validity after the arrival date in China. For the most up-to-date and thorough information, please visit travel.state.gov. Students traveling on non-U.S. passports should verify passport and visa requirements for your nationality by contacting your local Chinese embassy or consulate.

    GoBeyond understands that families have varying opinions on vaccinations. Some greatly desire the precaution; others prefer to avoid possible side effects of certain medications such as anti-malarials. Coupled with the fact that each student has unique medical considerations known best by his or her doctor, GoBeyond does not supply medical advice. We recommend that all families refer to the expertise of the CDC (wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel), their health care providers, and/or a travel clinic.

  • GoBeyond tuition fees cover the following:
    • All in-country journey accommodation, meals, and ground transportation
    • Full-time service adventure staff, local guides, and tips
    • All group activities including service projects and materials, sight-seeing trips, and educational excursions
    • Physical and monetary donations to our partner organizations
    • One certificate of the President’s Volunteer Service Award (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only) upon successful completion of the journey

    Not included in the GoBeyond tuition fees are personal expenses such as the cost of obtaining passports, visas, vaccinations, airport taxes, extra baggage fees, health and travel insurance, medical and evacuation expenses, personal spending money, e-mail, phone calls, laundry, souvenirs, etc. As students come from all over the world, air transportation is not included. Please see the Flights tab for more details.

    OUR 6 WEEK PROGRAMS

    Any two consecutive journeys can be joined to form one extended course. In the interim between journeys, students stay with staff. The total cost is determined by combining the cost of each journeys and subtracting the 5% extended course discount (this discount also applies toward any trips adjoining our sister program ActionQuest). GoBeyond and ActionQuest enrollment for any two journeys in the same summer will be considered as a single extended program in the event of withdrawal or dismissal from the trip at any time.

  • Living in the moment

    Though the fundamentals of our journeys do not change, specific journey logistics evolve over time. It is typical for our community service partners to not choose our project areas until late spring/early summer, thus the final touches on our itineraries are not always set until then. The journey overview portions of this page should give families a basic understanding of the kinds of activities we do on the journey. We also suggest last year’s Trip Updates if you need more descriptions. For the most up-to-date information on our expected itineraries, feel free to Contact our office.

    With that in mind, we encourage all participants to “live in the moment” while on the journey. Travel, even on organized trips, requires flexibility and a willingness to accept adversity and change. Your journey country may not be as efficient, orderly, and/or timely as you are use to. We hope you’ll take the bumps in stride, and enjoy the adventure!

  • Service Hours, Letters & Awards

    After the completion of summer, all students (U.S. and non-U.S. students alike) receive a GoBeyond service letter reflecting their participation on the journey.* The GoBeyond service letter describes the type of service work performed, the number of hours awarded, and is printed and signed on our letterhead. Typically, our letter is accepted by most high schools/colleges as proof of community service participation. If your school needs a specific form signed or evaluation filled out, please make sure to bring this on the trip so a staff member can assist you.

    President's Volunteer Service AwardPresident’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) – In addition, GoBeyond is a certifying organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation established the award program as a way to thank and honor individuals who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. GoBeyond is able to award the PVSA to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have completed 100 hours of service during his/her journey. Please note that GoBeyond does not make the rules regarding who is eligible for the PVSA. Eligibility criteria is set by the governmental agency and, at this point in time, non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents are not eligible to receive the award. 

    Learn More About The PVSA

    * Note: Presence alone does not necessarily earn students the community service hours. GoBeyond reserves the right to deduct hours due to non-participation and/or early dismissal. Participants who work hard and participate in all journey activities will receive the full number of service hours available for their program.