China

Orphans of Beijing

Travel through China 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 by doing volunteer work in China’s orphanages. When you’re not changing their lives, change your own through deep exposure to Chinese culture. On this high school service trip, 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 21 - Jul 11, 2019
  • 21
  • 100 hours
  • 12
  • 14 - 18
  • Open
  • $5,370 $5,020
Session 2 / Jul 13 - Aug 2, 2019
  • 21
  • 100 hours
  • 12
  • 14 - 18
  • Open
  • $5,370 $5,020

Focus

  • Humanitarian Support
  • Language Immersion

Adventure

  • Cultural Exploration
  • Hiking & Walking Tours
  • Land Sports

Environment

  • Urban
  • Rural
  • Mountains

The Journey

Your Adventure Starts Here

Nǐ hǎo! Departure for China!

2 Days

Our journey begins! Students have the option of flying to Beijing (PEK) via Dallas (DFW) on a preselected group itinerary, or students can fly independently. For students flying via DFW, 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 accommodation. First day activities include a fantastic Chinese welcome dinner, GoBeyond’s orientation, check-in, and icebreakers.

Itinerary Activities

Service Days in Baotou & Beijing

12 Days

Students spend most of their service days in the city of Baotou. A typical day in this bustling city of the Inner Mongolia province includes community service shifts with disabled children in the Baotou Orphanage. Students facilitate nurturing play, feed/dress the children, and tend to the nursery.

Itinerary Activities

Service Days in Baotou & 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.

Itinerary Activities

Service Days in Baotou & 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.

Itinerary Activities

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!

Itinerary Activities

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!

Itinerary Activities

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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Journey Focus

Giving to Those Who Need the Most

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 our Chinese orphanage volunteer work 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
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“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 high school service trip, students facilitate final activities and a party with the children they’ve grown so fond of over the past few weeks of their volunteer work in China’s orphanages. 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 Sheindel G.

Terra-Cotta Warriors

We started our morning in Xi’an with an early breakfast and a long drive to the Terra-Cotta Warrior Factory and...

Read More
By Amandine B.

Wushu Gods and Super Ayis

Today was our very first day of service. Upon arrival at Dew Drops Little Flower, we all confessed our hopes...

Read More
By Spencer Z.

The Taste of China

I’ve grown up with Chinese food on the table, there may be an occasional change, but it has been like...

Read More
By Michael

Buddhas and Thunder

After waking up early at our hotel in Datong, we crowded onto our buses to head to the Hanging Monastery....

Read More
By Michael Q.

Our Adventure to Xi’an

We started off our excursion to Xi’an by taking an overnight train from Beijing. To begin our first day, we...

Read More

Trip Logs

Nǐ hǎo! Departure for China!

2 Days

Our journey begins! Students have the option of flying to Beijing (PEK) via Dallas (DFW) on a preselected group itinerary, or students can fly independently. For students flying via DFW, 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 accommodation. First day activities include a fantastic Chinese welcome dinner, GoBeyond’s orientation, check-in, and icebreakers.

Itinerary Activities

Service Days in Baotou & Beijing

12 Days

Students spend most of their service days in the city of Baotou. A typical day in this bustling city of the Inner Mongolia province includes community service shifts with disabled children in the Baotou Orphanage. Students facilitate nurturing play, feed/dress the children, and tend to the nursery.

Itinerary Activities

Service Days in Baotou & 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.

Itinerary Activities

Service Days in Baotou & 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.

Journey Focus

Giving to Those Who Need the Most

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 our Chinese orphanage volunteer work 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.
Itinerary Activities

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!

Itinerary Activities

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!

Itinerary Activities

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 high school service trip, students facilitate final activities and a party with the children they’ve grown so fond of over the past few weeks of their volunteer work in China’s orphanages. 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 Sheindel G.

Terra-Cotta Warriors

We started our morning in Xi’an with an early breakfast and a long drive to the Terra-Cotta Warrior Factory and...

Read More
By Amandine B.

Wushu Gods and Super Ayis

Today was our very first day of service. Upon arrival at Dew Drops Little Flower, we all confessed our hopes...

Read More
By Spencer Z.

The Taste of China

I’ve grown up with Chinese food on the table, there may be an occasional change, but it has been like...

Read More
By Michael

Buddhas and Thunder

After waking up early at our hotel in Datong, we crowded onto our buses to head to the Hanging Monastery....

Read More
By Michael Q.

Our Adventure to Xi’an

We started off our excursion to Xi’an by taking an overnight train from Beijing. To begin our first day, we...

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 doing volunteer work in China’s orphanages 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!

  • Little Flower

    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 high school service trip 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 traveler. 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 high school service trip, we’ve found that a group size of maximum 12 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 trip, students will need an emergency/travel credit or debit card in addition to personal spending cash. The credit or debit card (minimum balance of $400) is intended to cover travel costs to and from the program and any unanticipated costs that might arise such as clinic or hospital visits. While not required, if you are concerned about loss or theft, students do have the option of storing their credit or debit card with our staff during the journey.

GoBeyond will pay all major program costs while traveling and working, but there will also be opportunities for students to spend money on personal items. The most common expenses include snacks, souvenirs, and phone/internet time (calling cards, internet centers, etc.). Based on our past experience, some students will spend less and some will spend more than our recommendation ($300). 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?

GoBeyond is not a luxury journey; however, we utilize comfortable, clean, and safe accommodations during our trips. In China, our students typically stay at local hotels or hostels near the baby homes and centers.

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 our service partner’s headquarters 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
Are flights included in the tuition?

Since students join us from all over the world, the cost of transportation to and from the destination country is not included in the program tuition.

Who should we contact to book travel?

Helping to coordinate our students’ travel is of vital importance – and a mammoth task! For this reason, we strongly suggest that all families start by contacting our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez of TRC Travel Center (T: +1.281.528.7727 or 800.329.9000 • E: leahctn68@hotmail.com). Even if you are not originating in the U.S., Leah will be able to provide options and guidance.

When should I book flights?

We suggest you wait until March 20th, and here’s why. The quality of the experience is in large part defined by the makeup of the student team, and unfortunately we can’t determine the status of a specific journey or session until we receive the appropriate number of enrollments to guarantee a great experience (which is typically no fewer than six). Therefore, unless you select a ticket fare type or flight insurance policy that allows flexibility for date modifications, refunds, or credits, we suggest that families wait until after March 20th to book their international flights.

What is the preferred itinerary for U.S.-based students?

Each year, GoBeyond works with TRC Travel Center to select a preferred itinerary to/from Beijing, China (PEK) via Dallas (DFW). GoBeyond strongly encourages U.S.-based families to book on our recommended route, so that as many students as possible 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 DFW. Depending on the desires of other participants, the number of students traveling on the recommended route can vary greatly.

What about an alternate itinerary that suits us better?

Since 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 Dallas. 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.

Does GoBeyond provide support on travel days?

Yes. We understand that travel days can be stressful for both parents and students, so no matter what time of the day or night, our office team actively monitors and supports our participants during travel. We require students to travel with a mobile phone with domestic data capability so we can monitor their progress and communicate directly if necessary. For certain flight connections, GoBeyond also offers on-site airport assistance, yet our experience has shown that being active and available to everyone electronically is often more effective in quickly troubleshooting snags than being physically present in just one location. For this specific journey…

  • Preferred Itinerary (Outbound flight, DFW 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 DFW airport who is responsible for helping troubleshoot any flight/connection issues that may arise.
  • Preferred Itinerary (Inbound flight, PEK to DFW) – 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 DFW. This is due to the lack of an on-site representative’s ability to attend to customs/immigration issues and ongoing connection coordination when they do not arrive with the students.

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.

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 and permanent residents who qualify based on his/her age and the number of service hours accrued during the journey (14-15 year olds need 50+ hours, 16-18 year olds need 100+ hours). 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.

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 5-8 WEEK Journeys

Any consecutive programs may be joined to form one extended course. In the interim between programs, students stay with staff. The total cost is determined by combining the cost of each program and subtracting the 5% extended course discount.  This discount also applies toward any trips adjoining our sister program, ActionQuest. ActionQuest and/or GoBeyond enrollment for any consecutive programs 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.

Financial Aid
Every year, GoBeyond awards a number of partial tuition scholarships

The financial aid budget is determined by the GoBeyond Directors and is allocated from the organization’s operating budget. Eligibility is based on a number of factors, including financial need, past academic performance, community involvement, and promise of success on the journey.

As students come from all over the world, flight and travel costs are not included at any scholarship level, nor spending money and other additional costs associated with traveling abroad (vaccinations, doctor visits, visas, etc.). If you know that you are unable to fund your experience without financial assistance, then please visit our Financial Aid pages for more information and the application.

  • Flights
  • Travel Docs & Vaccinations
  • Itinerary
  • Service Hours
  • Tuition
  • Financial Aid
  • Are flights included in the tuition?

    Since students join us from all over the world, the cost of transportation to and from the destination country is not included in the program tuition.

    Who should we contact to book travel?

    Helping to coordinate our students’ travel is of vital importance – and a mammoth task! For this reason, we strongly suggest that all families start by contacting our travel coordinator, Leah Hernandez of TRC Travel Center (T: +1.281.528.7727 or 800.329.9000 • E: leahctn68@hotmail.com). Even if you are not originating in the U.S., Leah will be able to provide options and guidance.

    When should I book flights?

    We suggest you wait until March 20th, and here’s why. The quality of the experience is in large part defined by the makeup of the student team, and unfortunately we can’t determine the status of a specific journey or session until we receive the appropriate number of enrollments to guarantee a great experience (which is typically no fewer than six). Therefore, unless you select a ticket fare type or flight insurance policy that allows flexibility for date modifications, refunds, or credits, we suggest that families wait until after March 20th to book their international flights.

    What is the preferred itinerary for U.S.-based students?

    Each year, GoBeyond works with TRC Travel Center to select a preferred itinerary to/from Beijing, China (PEK) via Dallas (DFW). GoBeyond strongly encourages U.S.-based families to book on our recommended route, so that as many students as possible 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 DFW. Depending on the desires of other participants, the number of students traveling on the recommended route can vary greatly.

    What about an alternate itinerary that suits us better?

    Since 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 Dallas. 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.

    Does GoBeyond provide support on travel days?

    Yes. We understand that travel days can be stressful for both parents and students, so no matter what time of the day or night, our office team actively monitors and supports our participants during travel. We require students to travel with a mobile phone with domestic data capability so we can monitor their progress and communicate directly if necessary. For certain flight connections, GoBeyond also offers on-site airport assistance, yet our experience has shown that being active and available to everyone electronically is often more effective in quickly troubleshooting snags than being physically present in just one location. For this specific journey…

    • Preferred Itinerary (Outbound flight, DFW 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 DFW airport who is responsible for helping troubleshoot any flight/connection issues that may arise.
    • Preferred Itinerary (Inbound flight, PEK to DFW) – 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 DFW. This is due to the lack of an on-site representative’s ability to attend to customs/immigration issues and ongoing connection coordination when they do not arrive with the students.

    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.

  • 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 and permanent residents who qualify based on his/her age and the number of service hours accrued during the journey (14-15 year olds need 50+ hours, 16-18 year olds need 100+ hours). 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.

  • 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 5-8 WEEK Journeys

    Any consecutive programs may be joined to form one extended course. In the interim between programs, students stay with staff. The total cost is determined by combining the cost of each program and subtracting the 5% extended course discount.  This discount also applies toward any trips adjoining our sister program, ActionQuest. ActionQuest and/or GoBeyond enrollment for any consecutive programs 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.

  • Every year, GoBeyond awards a number of partial tuition scholarships

    The financial aid budget is determined by the GoBeyond Directors and is allocated from the organization’s operating budget. Eligibility is based on a number of factors, including financial need, past academic performance, community involvement, and promise of success on the journey.

    As students come from all over the world, flight and travel costs are not included at any scholarship level, nor spending money and other additional costs associated with traveling abroad (vaccinations, doctor visits, visas, etc.). If you know that you are unable to fund your experience without financial assistance, then please visit our Financial Aid pages for more information and the application.