Eleanor Wood, Leeds University

Eleanor joined our programme in Qiandao (Camp Greenwoods) in the summer of 2016, please read on for her feedback.

Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?

For me being the head of teaching Kayaking in Camp challenged me to adapt to teaching a sport in a culture different to my own. For example, Chinese children can be quite reserved and unsure about trying new things even if they actually want to try it and so need extra encouragement. This gave me the opportunity to develop skills such as my communication skills when teaching and working with children from different cultures.

How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?

Working in China has benefited me massively. I have made friends for life and since leaving camp in August I have visited China twice since, once to work in camp during a Chinese holiday and once for an internship for University. On both occasions I was able to meet the friends I made in camp again who I feel very close to. I think the best thing these experiences have taught me is the Chinese culture which is so rich and interesting.

What was the best thing about your experience in China?

These are many things I could say! But I will never forget the children I was assigned to care for during the summer and the great relationship I was able to build with them during this time. Also seeing the children grow and develop during their time in camp was very special.

Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?

Yes I would recommend participating definitely. It is a once in a lifetime experience that enables you to experience and work in a culture very different from our own while also giving you the opportunity to help children grow and develop. As a result you yourself will also grow and develop. Trust me, you won’t want to come home!! But I would give one piece of advice: you get out of it what you put in.