Explore China

AIESEC is the world's largest youth-run NGO and NPO. Explore China - Hello Opera is a five week voluntourism program organized by AIESEC at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China.

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The theme of the program is Chinese opera. The organization markets itself as a volunteer opportunity, claiming that participants will help build sets, work shows and assist with marketing. Despite the marketing, participants think otherwise and consider this trip to be a glorified tourism experience.

In 2018, there were more than 20 similar culture-related voluntourism programs in China with 200 volunteers. Most participants were attracted by the unique Chinese culture. AIESEC sets clear goals about culture protection and development. It is difficult to evaluate if AIESEC can achieve the goals they set for themselves. Outcomes are difficult to measure because there is no 'voluntary work' scheduled for participants. How volunteers introduce Chinese opera to the public is largely dependent on the volunteer themselves.

As you have seen, voluntourism trips typically result in more problems than solutions for host communities. That is why we encourage individuals to #VoluntourNoMore. However, we do feel that people should continue to volunteer abroad as long as they do their research and evaluate potential sending organizations with a critical eye.