Every aspect of the Microcampus program has been designed to maximize opportunities for the following experiences for all participants:
- experiential learning in which students engage in meaningful activities that require them to depend on themselves, their peers, chaperones, and outside experts in order to solve problems they encounter;
- personal growth that results from adventure and challenges, broadening boundaries and comfort zones through reasonable risk-taking, problem solving, and thoughtful choices;
- expanding intercultural understanding as students interact with members of local communities and their surroundings; and
- having a positive impact on the places we visit and the people who live there through shared experience, responsible actions, and environmental awareness.
The "Big Four" points above were the basis for making all decisions about the design of the daily schedule, and they are very much a part of continuing conversations with students before, during, and after the trip.
A typical morning schedule includes time for students to work on SAS Essentials, which are the required assignments from teachers back in Shanghai, along with some Pitching In time, during which students take care of responsibilities that help the group process move smoothly (tidying up their rooms, planning for activities, writing journals, etc.).
The afternoon schedule includes a large block of time for students to dive into their major Microcampus work: two hours of Inquiry Project work, an hour of wellness, another hour of Pitching In, and a half hour of "Still Time," where students relax, unplug, sit still, and notice the world around them.
Evening activities are designed by students, and they range from stargazing to movie nights to just relaxing at the end of a big day of learning.