Alex Shavick, Oxford University
Alex joined our programme in the town of Yangshuo in the summer of 2013, please read on for his feedback.
Can you tell me about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
This summer I volunteered as an English teacher at Dahuwai English summer camp in Yangshuo, Guangxi. I had a fantastic time and gained a lot from the experience. The camp offered a flexible teaching commitment; I could choose what I wanted to teach and which age groups. The classes were in the morning and then in the afternoon we supervised an activity such as water fights, rafting, trips to local sights, and producing a Les Mis spin-off musical. In the evening we put on karaoke nights, played party games or put on big parties (the biggest of all being the opening and closing ceremonies). These activities were always a blast and contributed to the fun and relaxed atmosphere of the summer camp. Engaging with the kids on the activities and not just as their teacher was why I formed such great bonds with them. I am still in contact with several kids by email who want to practice their English on me! In addition, the camp offered Chinese lessons to us English teachers, which were really useful and helped me pick up the basics very quickly.
The camp is located in the beautiful backdrop of Yangshuo, with impressive limestone castes surrounding the town. Some of the views really take your breath away. Yangshuo is a vibrant town. On our nights off I went out with the other teachers to one of the clubs or bars and, without fail, some hilarious story would come out of it.
I can absolutely recommend getting yourself to China and teaching English if you want something to throw yourself into, and have a great time in the process. I can’t wait to go back!