Updated 5 years 2 weeks ago


All the information gathered during the Microcampus project was work gathered from about a month of initial research and a fantastic and life changing 28-day experience in a small village in the southwest of China. During my 28 days in Xizhou, I interviewed about 15 different people from all walks of life. Through these interviews I developed relationships and connections with all of them. I had interviews with people that had lived in Xizhou all of their life ranging to people who had moved to Xizhou a few months ago. Because of all this variation, I was able to generate my own opinions and ideas about my topic.

The topic I chose was a small business case study. I chose to do a small business case study and an investigation into immigration because I was interested in both of these topics so I decided to combine them. If you would like to look at the specifics of why I wanted to study this topic then you can look at my Phase 0 work. Through this topic I created connections with all of the people I talked to.

My sources were mostly people that Mr. T had recommended because he knows almost everybody in the village of Xizhou. I went to Mr. T because no one in Xizhou knows more about the immigration stories of business people in Xizhou.

The questions I was investigating were questions that asked about the effects of tourism on the economy. I investigated how the customer base has changed from a local to tourists' standpoint. This gave me an idea of how tourists were affecting the everyday customers and who the products made by businesses in Xizhou are aimed at. I investigated inflation and how, because of inflation, people are suffering and how people are profiting. Finally, I investigated how the business owners in Xizhou were changing from honest to smart and how this would affect the people here. 

During Phase 3 and Phase 4, I chose to do a general overview of how businesses have changed in Xizhou. I used this method to display the information I gathered from these interviews. Using this method, I could create a project that shows a bit of everyone's story and that was my goal when I began this project. To create this presentation, I needed something that I could base my project off and that was my thesis statement. Any investigation of how Xizhou businesses are changing must consider the following: change in customer base, change in economy, and change in business owners' integrity.

Sharing My Learning

If the embedded video above is not working then you can click here to see my final video.


I took many life lessons away from the inquiry project experience but the main thing that I took away is that if you look up and have real meaningful conversations you will experience real connections. When we were on our hike Mr. T talked to our group about having more connections in the village. I think too often I was just asking questions and then taking notes on their answers instead of listening and asking questions that directly related to their answers. Having real conversations is what the inquiry project is about. It is about learning people's stories and learning the stories of Xizhou through these conversations. 

My topic changed a bit over the course of my study. I started with a small businesses case study and added an extra bit in terms of immigration. My topic changed because when I was exploring my information and researching I started to see that I was looking at a lot of how immigration is affecting Xizhou. I thought that this was interesting because I could ask questions about how tourists were affecting Xizhou and their businesses. 

The most difficult part of my research was finding small business reports from this region. Most of my research though was pretty easy as I could find mostly all of the things I needed.

I did have one pretty big a-ha moment when I made a major discovery when I was doing my research and I figured out that I wanted to add an immigration part to my research. When I was researching I found a very interesting document that talked about the effects on people that have migrated from the rural parts of China to the cities. In a-ha moment I found what I truly wanted to study.

This project helped me understand my topic better because I got to get many different opinions from people that have lived here for their entire lives to people who had just moved here. This helps me because I can get different perspectives on this topic and create my own opinions.

This project helped me interact with the community in and around Xizhou because I got to have conversations with every age group and also got to get the stories of all the people I interviewed.

This project helped me understand my project better because I got to formulate a project but I was also responsible for my own findings. This project was helpful to me because I was relied on by real people to get my project done. I also had to work everyday on my research and this made me dedicated to my work.

This project helped me understand myself better as a learner because I learned that I need to take more time and pride in my work. This project made me so much more responsible with my work because I needed to put at least 30 minutes of work everyday. During this I realized that I need to plan out my work much more carefully.

The advice I would have given myself is plan out my work more carefully and really give it 30 minutes of hard work everyday. This taught me what I need to do in my everyday life. I get too easily distracted and during my time in Xizhou I have learned and changed this about myself.

If me or someone else were to continue this research project I think they could take this in the direction of ecotourism. I think other Microcampus students could build on the work that I have done by researching into eco tourism and doing a case study on an eco-tourism. Eco-tourism was something that I was working on before I decided to do a small business case study.

I would like to give acknowledgements to: Mr. T for giving me guidance, helpful resources, changing me as a learner, and also helping me make meaningful and lasting connections with real people. Mr. T helped me recreate me as a learner and as a person. When I was inside the bubble I did not plan out my work and give it my best effort. Too easily I would get distracted and off task but now through Microcampus I have learned to get focused. Second, I would like to thank Ms. Mai, Cecily, and Evy who were there everyday for us, to provide teacher support and guidance throughout the trip. Lastly, I would like to thank every person who interviewed. They provided me with the information, and meaningful connections that will last a life time.

During my time in the Inquiry project time I learned and recognized the problems I needed to fix. The inquiry project also opened up connections that will last me a life time. During the life-changing experience that was the Limitless trip I discovered myself as a learner and a person. I created new and more effective habits, and I learned that I need to be responsible first in order to build up trust. This helped me as a person like I never could have imagined. Microcampus has instilled habits in me that I hope will never change. 

Hello, my name is George M. I am an 8th Grader at Shanghai American School Pudong and I was a part of the Microcampus Limitless group and am currently in Xizhou. I am looking forward to and making the process of changing as a person and a student. My inquiry project topic is a small business case study while also looking at the effects of migration. Xizhou is a beautiful and amazing place and I enjoyed every second of it.