Thomas Bugler joined our project at Zhuoye English College in Yangshuo in the summer of 2017. Please read on to view his feedback:
Could you please tell us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
I think that the freedom to explore the surrounding area at the weekend and engage with the teaching assistants and other teachers was great fun, but at the same time, aspects of the teaching were very enjoyable as well.
Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?
Out of the outdoor activities such as fish catching in a rice paddy, peanut picking in a field and journalist on West Street, I most enjoyed the journalism and the opportunity to explore the town with the students. In the lessons a highlight was definitely teaching and adding new rules to ‘Mafia’ with my level 3 class.
How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?
In complete honesty, some of the greatest lessons I learnt would have been in the hardest times: from the very different food to humid weather, the cultural immersion is the best way to gain independence and resilience in a foreign country, which will be invaluable to me in future travels. Furthermore, full-time teaching, engaging a classroom of kids all while using new skills has greatly benefited my ability to improvise, confidence, and independence.
What was the best thing about your experience in China?
The best thing about my experience was the independence of travelling, communicating, living and working all in a foreign environment, which pushed me outside of my comfort zone allowing me to benefit from the experience even more.
Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?
Yes, I think everyone should be given the opportunity to explore the world and try something out there; whether they enjoy it or not is besides the point, because you never know what you are missing if you don’t give it a go.