The weekly outdoor barbecues and fruit parties given by the college were brilliant. I also stayed for a weekend in the hometown of one of the Chinese teaching assistants working at a nearby college, which was infinitely less westernised than Yangshuo and so much more of a culture shock.
Visiting Moon Hill was and taking in the views was fantastic. Accompanying the summer school class to the Li river and having a barbecue on the bank was a highlight.
Being immersed in a culture about which I knew almost nothing was a fascinating experience, which I think has left me with a more open and accepting outlook and a willingness to try new things. I learned a lot about Chinese culture and have a much greater respect for and curiosity about it.
Before visiting China I had eaten at Chinese restaurants in Glasgow maybe three times in my life, all of which had served congealed and clammy, chemical-laden food and served as pretty poor representatives of Chinese food culture.
The food I experienced in China was almost without exception delicious. I loved trying unusual foods and cuts of meat which at home I might have turned down on principle, like chicken testicles, snails and pig penis. I spent the entire trip fantasising about my next meal.
I would definitely recommend the programme to friends, it is a great opportunity to see some of the world while learning how to be an effective teacher