joined our projects in Julong Foreign Languages School
Please you us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
Bonding with the kids and having little jokes with each of them, getting to know the Chinese teachers at the school who were so welcoming, having ping pong lessons with the kids, watching the school talent show, renting bikes and cycling round Quanzhuo, getting caught out in huge thunderstorms again and again and never learning our lesson, the delicious meals at local restaurants, and hiking in the beautiful national park near Quanzhuo
Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?
I really enjoyed watching the kids progress, even if it was small, from being vey shy and refusing to say anything, to coming up to me in the corridor and asking questions in English. the kids loved doing WiiDance videos, especially 'Who let the dogs out', so that was always a hilarious part of the lessons. I played a lot of games with them to, using balls or fly swatters to hit flashcards on the board, which always went down really well with them as they loved a bit of competition.
How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?
I have become much more confident in my on abilities- on the first day, getting up in front of a class of 40 kids and trying to engage them in a language they could barely understand seemed like a impossible feat, but I found my feet and realised that the kids were really loving it and I was too. Getting to know the other Chinese teachers from the school was a really lovely experience too, as they were so welcoming and keen to tell me about their county and their culture, and ask me questions about mine, and they were always bringing in snacks and tea for me to try.
What was the best thing about your experience in China?
Celebrating my 20th birthday with forty 10 year olds and a huge cake (which was then smeared on my face according to tradition- I think!), and all the kindness of anyone we met.
Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?
I would definitely recommend Gotoco to a friend- it's an amazing way to gain teaching experience, explore a beautiful part of the world and live in a completely different culture.