Poppy Reilly-Stitt joined our project at Shantou BOB English in the summer of 2017. Please read on to view her feedback:
Could you please tell us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
I really enjoyed seeing my students participate in the bilingual festival, which took place at the end of each of the three week classes, as they all had a chance to show off how hard they had worked in putting together a song, dance or play. I also found that some of my most enjoyable moments were during the Sunday trips that the school provided for the volunteers. It was a fantastic way to see some of the surrounding area and also to spend time with the other volunteers. One Sunday the host school took all of the volunteers to a nearby river where we could swim and try out bamboo rafting. The Sunday activities were a fantastic way to experience new things like pottery and dumpling making as well.
Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?
The highlights of the lessons were seeing the students engaging in a variety of games and also having the chance to organise a performance piece with the class to be performed in the bilingual festival.
The highlights of the cultural excursions had to be going with the other volunteers who just made each day trip every week something to look forward to. The excursions were also a fantastic opportunity to see the local area and try new activities, with trips to Nan’ao, local rivers for swimming, pottery classes, dumpling making, trips to the beach and much more.
The outdoor activities that I was able to take part in with the children included laser tag, and in all honesty, I probably found this more fun than the kids did.
How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?
The overall experience has benefited me in the sense that I have a new found confidence in my ability to pursue, organise and take part in opportunities which may push me out of my comfort zone. I also have the confidence to stand in front of a class and present a lesson, without fearing their scrutiny. And lastly I have benefited hugely from making so many new friends, who I hope to see again at some point.
What was the best thing about your experience in China?
The best thing about my experience in China had to be testing out a possible career path, which was albeit challenging but also hugely rewarding. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to see a small part of China, and finally, making life-long friends. These for me were the best things about my experience and building on these, the trip has allowed me to discover a desire to continue travelling.
Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?
I would most certainly recommend participating to a friend because the trip allowed me to make some amazing friends who all experienced with me the trials and tribulations of teaching, but who also made the experience fun and enjoyable.