Please can you tell us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
The students were particularly enjoyable to have in class. Most were polite, excited to learn and asked questions. Talking with them in class and discussing differences between our cultures was always interesting and fun.
Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?
I did not take any lessons or participate in any cultural excursions or outdoor activities arranged by my school, only on my own. I hiked with my volunteer partner and our Chinese friend; the mountains were beautiful and quite different than what we are used to seeing. It was also always fun to have students teach me some Chinese words or help me try to write Chinese. I also visited Tengwang Pavilion which was cool.
How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?
The trip was good experience in international travel. It was good experience learning how to live in a foreign country and how to survive not knowing the language; every day was an exercise in creative problem solving. The fairly independent teaching environment really challenged me and strengthened my planning and execution skills as well.
What was the best thing about your experience in China?
The students were great. I also made two good Chinese friends who worked at the school. Trying new foods while out with friends was always great. I personally enjoyed hot pots and trying new vegetables.
Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?
I would recommend participating to a friend as a way to gain teaching experience and build skills that go along with that. At least at my school, it was pretty independent work planning lessons and teaching. I would also suggest this as a way to travel abroad economically. Although the teaching hours did not allow me to do much sightseeing while on the programme, just the daily experience of living in a foreign country was good.