The trip to Qingdao was perhaps the most successful I had been to and one the students all expressed satisfaction with, despite the numerous problems given the rushed nature of the trip and the disastrous first day spent at the airport. I felt that this was more due to the fact that we only had to spend three days. and anything more in such a small coastal resort would have stretched students' patience to breaking point. Over 80% of the students were of the opinion that this trip "- was more organised" which, given the fact it had been completely unplanned and students had been unprepared (wearing clothes suited for the beach in Hainan and not for three days of heavy rain), is remarkable. One student did later email me to offer his opinion that "the last minute change to Qing Dao made the trip much less pleasant" although of those asked, nearly all agreed that there had been "good last minute planning."
Many expressed amazement that there had been no contingency plan given the fact most knew of the threat of a hurricane the week before. It was also a matter of concern that whereas we were told not to make such a trip due to the danger, the Chinese section by 17.00 were still waiting for an aeroplane to that very location.
Students also felt that the "hotels were better than last year", although at the same time expressed dissatisfaction with them and the first hotel in particular. Personally I felt the hotels were satisfactory, although the first one provided food that was universally disliked, with students using adjectives "bad" and "horrible" to describe it. The breakfast we had on that first morning certainly did not help to motivate the students.
As a result of the singular nature...