What makes our excursion special is the fact that it is organized and planned from start to finish by us, the participants. What steps we took towards the planning process will be described in the following.
- Drawing of the participants and getting to know each other
After drawing the participants for the excursion, everybody had to get to know each other. In this respect the members of last year’s excursion presented us with a perfect opportunity by inviting us to a barbeque party. Our predecessors told us a lot of China related stories as well as experiences regarding organization.
- Determination of the travel route
The first step to the planning was the determination of our travel route. Each participant held a short presentation about one Chinese city as well as one city in east or southeast asia.
Out of these 16 Chinese cities we voted for Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Jinan and Lijiang. As for the non-Chinese City we decided to pick Seoul in South Korea.
While picking the cities we like to visit in China, we chose to have balance between modern and more traditional parts of China. Furthermore, we wanted to explore cities that were never visited in previous year’s excursion. By choosing Lijiang as well as Seoul we will be successful in doing so.
- Organisation: City teams and special duties
Next up we formed so called city teams consisting of 1-3 participants who are responsible for the whole planning and organizing of the visit to a certain city.
Also certain special duties were assigned such as admin for our website, recorders for the meetings, treasurer for our joint account, and persons in charge of pharmaceutical travel kits as well as photographers for our daily blogs
- Planning phase
Within the city teams schedules for each day in the respective city were developed. This included getting in contact with local universities and companies to arrange visits and workshops as well as searching for tourist highlights as well as interesting destinations for trips within the city and region.
The progress was frequently reported back to the group and discussed in our group meetings.
Both of our two leaders were not part of a city team as they were more occupied with general coordination and administration such as finding a travel agency for flights, travels between the cities, accommodation and visa issues.
- Finding Sponsors
Since all expenses of our excursion will be met by the participants themselves, we are looking for sponsoring of companies, associations, institutes and private patrons who we can convince with the goals of our excursion.
In order to approach potential sponsors we are taking advantage of our own personal networks as well as talking in person to company executives at exhibitions such as the yearly “Contact Messe” at the Technical Faculty in Erlangen or via telephone calls.