Maeve Sinclair, Warwick University

Maeve joined our programme in Shantou city in the summer of 2016, please read on for her feedback.

Can you tell me about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?

Being able to develop a proper understanding of the culture of the area that I was staying in was great throughout the whole trip. Meeting and spending time with a group of like minded volunteers was also such an enriching experience. When teaching, the most enjoyable aspect was being able to see a student’s individual growth and development throughout the 6 weeks.

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

Seeing the students’ progress in learning English whilst I was teaching them was a particular highlight. As for culture, we were exposed to a wide range of activities such as visiting the old city in Chaozhan, visiting Confucian and Buddhist temples, seeing Nan’ao islands and seeing the Hakka village in Meizhou.

How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?

Teaching English to foreign students has been a fantastic way to develop my communication skills and my confidence. Coming to China with no teaching experience was a daunting prospect but learning and acquiring these new skills was a great experience. Staying in the community also helped me to develop my cultural awareness and appreciation of China.

What was the best thing about your experience in China?

Being able to talk to and work with local people in the city we were staying was a rewarding experience. It gave me an appreciation and understanding of Chinese culture that I would not have been able to get had I been travelling by myself!

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

I would recommend participating to a friend. Being a part of this programme really helps your personal development and cultural appreciation and is a great way of developing your independence.