Can you tell me about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
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.
Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?
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.
How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?
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.
What was the best thing about your experience in China?
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.
Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?
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