Karina Patel joined our project at Jinqiao Academy in Rongxian in summer 2017. Read on to view her feedback:

Could you please tell us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?

One of the best parts about the program is being able to help children and build a connection with them. This was also rewarding, knowing children were keen to learn and improve their test results. The other part was experiencing the culture such as different foods and locations like temples and hiking mountains. It was a fantastic eye opener to what’s in China.

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

Meeting new people and understanding their values and culture was a great highlight of my experience. The lessons in class gained understanding of the importance of strict learning, as well as being involved in game activities. This also involved outdoor activities such as playing water sports in the swimming pool. The best cultural excursion for me would have to be the sunset hiking and dragon fruit picking.

How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?

My experiences changed me as a person when I arrived back home. It taught me the lessons of life with what’s more important in the world in creating your own happiness. It also taught me the importance of family and good friends, as in China families are valued highly. Where many of us live in a materialistic society, that isn’t the key to happiness unless you have good company. It also taught me how to be independent, and to push yourself out of your comfort zone and trying new activities such as rock climbing.

What was the best thing about your experience in China?

The best part of my experience was visiting Yangshuo. I’d never heard of the place before, yet when I arrived I couldn’t be more stunned by the thousands of mountains I witnessed all in one place. Having this view everyday was the best thing about my experience in China. Moreover, being in a place where only a few spoke English was another challenge, but it helped overcome my fears.

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

Yes, I would strongly recommend this same to my friend as I feel they will learn a lot about culture and travelling solo. It’s a great eye opener to what’s out there in the world. This experience has encouraged me to helped children more with their learning, as its important to pass information that can be useful.