Joanna joined our programme in Shandong (University of Shandong) in the summer of 2017. Please read on for her feedback.
Please can you tell us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
The whole trip was just so fantastic, it is so hard to describe it in words. Meeting new people was the best part of it. The company/hosts I had there were the best people as they really made me feel so welcome. The food was fantastic! Our hosts made sure we were well fed, so much that I think I’ve put on a lot of weight. Being able to travel around Shandong and Shanghai before finishing off the trip was amazing too.
Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?
We were brought to a beach in Yantai. It was really beautiful and clean. We sat on boats and started paddling our way across the sea, competing with each other. After that, they brought us on a speed boat to catch crabs. Later on, we caught tiny crabs and fish with our own bare hands. This was something different as we had to be really quick and fast, chasing after them. We finished off the day with a barbecue by the seaside, watching the beautiful sunset. The best thing was that we witnessed the lunar eclipse.
How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?
It has definitely benefited me. I have not only gained so much experience teaching students English, but also learnt so much from this whole trip. I learnt a great deal about Chinese culture. Chinese people are so different from what I expected them to be like. Everyone was extremely friendly and hospitable. I gained so much experience travelling around China whilst enjoying the different types of food and culture.
What was the best thing about your experience in China?
The people I met in China. They were so friendly, hospitable and kind. We shared jokes and had lots of humour in our conversations despite coming from different backgrounds. They made my stay the most enjoyable part of the whole trip.
Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?
Yes. It’s a whole new experience that not everyone can get. Great food, amazing company, being able to travel, learning a new language and a different culture. Everything was just so amazing. I’d say that it was the best part of my summer, and could well be the best summer of my life.