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Manchester, United Kingdom — 22-25 September 2009

WYSE Archives

Welcome to our newest member – Wanderlust Exchange

May 29, 2018

Interview with Hazel Yao – Managing Director

Tell us your story. How did Wanderlust Exchange get started?

Through Wanderlust’s intercultural experience, we hope you will truly gain a better understanding of the world as well as yourselves, with more leniency, understanding and appreciation, with a more broadened mind, view and heart.

  • We aim to help participants develop self-awareness and cross-cultural competencies to be active participants in the world.
  • We aim to help participants obtain Mandarin language skills through this language learning and immersion experience.
  • We aim to help the younger generation (host children) broaden their horizon through this intercultural exchange, both linguistically and culturally.
  • We aim to offer host parents the opportunity to learn about a foreign culture, to foster an everlasting friendship with participants.
  • We aim to bridge culture divides through this authentic cultural exchange program, creating more understanding, which is crucial for making the world a better place to live.
What makes Wanderlust Exchange different from your competitors?

Our visions make us commit ourselves to providing the best experience possible for both participants and host families.

  • We consider the screening of host families and au pair candidates are crucial for this inter-cultural experience.
  • We provide top-notch Mandarin classes as well as cultural immersion activities for participants.
  • We provide full time support to participants during their stay.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?

We had an Austrian au pair who stayed with a host family in Baotou, Inner Mongolia China for 9 months. He started learning Mandarin at zero but he was able to speak conversational Mandarin after a 9 months stay in China. He had a great time with the host family and even wrote an article in Chinese about his experience with the host family in Chinese characters.

What can we expect to see from Wanderlust Exchange in the future?

Wanderlust will diversify our inbound volunteer and internship opportunities with a focus on Au Pair in China Program.

Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?

There is an increasing trend for Chinese youngsters to travel and work abroad; In the meantime, China will be a more and more popular destination for overseas youngsters to take a gap year.

How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with Wanderlust Exchange?

We screen host families discreetly, and we work with Dr. Walter Insurance for full medical insurance for participants.

What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?

This is a great question and a simple one to answer: We share the same vision with WYSE Travel Confederation:

“To contribute to the personal and professional growth of students and young people and positively impact our global community by fostering international understanding, responsible international travel, cultural exchange and education.”

Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event? If so, what was your experience with the event?

Yes, Wanderlust Exchange had participated in the WYSTC conference twice. Each event was held in a very organized manner with many potential partners’ participation. Both events were great business bonding experiences.

What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing at this time?

We are looking for more overseas partners in recruiting au pair candidates for Au Pair in China Program.

Member snapshot

Wanderlust Exchange provides with opportunities that integrate educational travel, volunteering, Mandarin learning, childcare and English tutoring together for overseas youngsters. This is a great way to experience China with an authentic touch by staying with Chinese host families.

We believe getting to know another culture with your comfort zone pushed makes us individuals globe citizens with a broad vision, leniency, flexibility and better understanding of ourselves.

For more information, visit their website:

Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Associate Member

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