joined our projects in Anyson International in Nanchang
Please you us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
I spent a week teaching 12 year olds, and we learned a song together. It was really wonderful to hear them singing it at the end of the week, and to see how much they enjoyed being at the summer school. The children all had such a love for learning and loved to be in the school, which contrasted to what I have experienced in the UK and was lovely to see. The second camp was for college students, and it was fun to be able to bond with people my own age – a completely different experience to teaching the younger students.
Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?
We didn't really have any cultural excursions and outdoor activities. Once our school was over, some of the students took us to a water park (which was awful and expensive). The best experience was probably when we were making a film at the end of the second summer school, and we all took the metro to a big square in Nanchang. It was beautiful weather and was so lovely to be with so many friendly people.
How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?
This was an incredible experience for learning all about a new culture: because we were not in a touristy area we were completely immersed. I have learned some basic Chinese and loved all the new foods that I tried. It was fascinating to talk to the students about cultural differences between China and the UK, and I made many new friends. I also greatly enjoyed the teaching: we were completely thrown into the deep end without being told what age our students were, what to teach them or how much English they knew. This forced us to really plan and make sure that our lessons would be good. I have definitely come a long way as a teacher.
What was the best thing about your experience in China?
The best thing was getting to know the various students that I taught and also making friends with them. I enjoyed the variety of ages that I was able to teach, as it demonstrated just how different it is teaching a bunch of 12 year olds vs 16 year olds vs college students. I had a wonderful time teaching. I loved the food. I loved that I got to learn some Chinese. I even have a Chinese name now!
Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?
I would recommend Gotoco to a friend, but I would give them fair warning too. I had a wonderful experience, but I also encountered many issues along the way. I would want to make sure that my friend is aware of these issues before recommending Gotoco.