joined our projects in Anyson International English, part of Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang.
Please you us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
The most enjoyable part had to be the teaching. I was teaching university students, so we were all the same age, this meant that I could connect with them better, and we all became good friends.
Learning more about their culture, their language, and themselves as a whole, and me reciprocating that, was incredibly meaningful, and great fun.
Travelling to Yangshuo afterwards was also really enjoyable, being able to relax, explore and meet new people who had taught elsewhere in China was a wonderful experience, I will definitely stay in touch with them.
Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?
In Nanchang, teaching was the main highlight. During one lesson, to allow the students to practise their emotion in speech, and improvisation, running with new ideas, I had organised a Murder Mystery game. Each student was given a character, all were, in some way, linked to each other, and were only given a couple of pointers about their character. They had to develop their own character as the game went on, and they could then work on their own, or even form groups, to find the murderer. It was very fun, they all seemed to love it.
Yangshuo was also an incredible experience. We rented mopeds and rode them to Moon Hill, which we them climbed up. Being able to explore Yangshuo and witness its beauty was so brilliant. I have never felt more free zooming down the open roads.
In Yangshuo, we also went caving and were able to try out the mud baths and hot springs there, they were fun, an interesting new experience.
To summarise both my time teaching and my time in Yangshuo, the highlight of my trip in China was meeting amazing people – the students at my school, the teachers, the foreign teachers (UK and USA), and the others in Yangshuo.
How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?
The overall experience has been very beneficial to me. It has taught me more about myself, I was initially worried about teaching students, but I quickly gained a lot of confidence that I didn't know I had, and really enjoyed every minute of it.
This confidence inside the classroom only then extended to outside, where I became more able to approach new people and befriend them, especially in Yangshuo, and even ask strangers and adults questions, and have meaningful conversations with them, while in the street or an airport.
I have learnt a lot more about people as well, certainly not taking any Western customs for granted, and being aware of cultural and social differences was very interesting, I learnt more about myself and my personality, but also my culture, as well as that of China and its people.
What was the best thing about your experience in China?
It was definitely the teaching. Being able to explore more about English, its vocabulary, its grammar, its variation between cultures, and its different accents, was very fun, and greatly enjoyed by the students.
This meant I could explore more of Britain's culture with the students, stumbling on some things I hadn't even considered in a long while, and by extension, I was able to learn more about the students – their hobbies, their culture, their likes and dislikes, meaning that I could learn more about China and its wonderful people.
Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?
I would recommend Gotoco to friends, I already have, it has been a wonderful, life-changing experience, I have loved every minute of it.
The idea of being able to participate with a friend is also a good idea, as then you would not have to travel alone, you are always with someone who can speak your language when you are travelling there, and you have a friendly face from day 1.