Phase 0: Getting Started: Topic Exploration and Selection

Updated 3 years 3 months ago

After reading the reflections of previous Microcampus attendees, there are many valid suggestions that I will follow. Generally speaking, not procrastinating and finishing the work on time is essential to make the Microcampus trip easier for us. Also, communicating to the locals may prove harder than expected, as we have been living in an international bubble for most of our lives. Real life communication with people of different cultures, values, and habits will really push at our interaction skills. To go into more detail on my Case Study topic, one of the students mentioned in his reflection that Case study can cover many aspects of a business, so we should focus on only one or two of these aspects. This will allow us to have more time to focus on one part, rather than broadening the topic into three or four sub categories. Another student also mentioned that he should have gone directly into a local business instead of spending two entire weeks in search of a business partner. While he did complete his project, that resulted in him not being able to extend his understanding of economics with further studies of other small businesses. These suggestions are all ones that I have taken into account, as they may prove much more useful that I would expect.

Phase 0 is only the beginning of our long preparation for the 28-day Microcampus trip in Xizhou, where we will be investigating in one inquiry project. We began with a long list of options to choose from, but eventually narrowed it down to only three topics. Then, we made our final decision based on the feedback given to us. 

I decided to explore a new domain of the inquiry projects: economy. At first, I struggled to choose between Case Study (Local Business or Industry) and Project/Business Management, but then I chose the second project, because it gives me a broader spectrum to choose from. I really would enjoy this experience, because it would be my first time closely looking at how a business is run. Later on, I plan to narrow the project down to one type of business and look at the requirements to start the business, challenges, and other needs. I hope to not only observe the local residents start their business, but also take part in the work and creation process, maybe providing help to the business manager. This is my final decision for the inquiry projects.

The other two topics I was interested in before making my final decision were Ethnic Minority Issues and Religious Studies. However, I decided not to choose these topics because they did not necessarily meet my expectations of what they looked like, as was mentioned in the feedback given to me. 

In Phase 0, we perused through the long list of topics and chose the project that we will be working on during the Microcampus trip. As we are moving on to Phase 1, we will be looking closer into our respective projects, and both asking and responding to questions on our inquiry projects. 


My name is Alexis Y., and I am 13 years old. I was born in Paris, France, and returned to China with my parents when I turned 6. My favorite sport is basketball, and I found a passion for debate since 6th grade when I joined MUN. Our Phenomena group has left XiZhou and is back in Shanghai. The Microcampus Experience has helped me explore "me" and find out more about the history of XiZhou and its people. Over the course of this trip, I have become friends with 40, 50, and 60 year-old adults. I have made bonds with the rest of my peers, some of which I had not even talked to before. I have grown so much in just one month, and I am sure that the good habits that I have adopted on this trip will stay with me forever.