First Impressions - Michael-Kieran Hudson

My time teaching in China thus far has been immensely enjoyable. I’ve been working in the relatively small city of Changde, situated in northern Hunan province.

Despite the city’s diminutive size and its only recent economic and social development, I’ve haven’t experienced many cultural shocks or been taken aback by how different things are to the UK – which has led me to settle into my new adopted city rather easily and the lifestyle I have been afforded is extremely comfortable and rather luxurious by local standards. The people have also been immeasurably accommodating and friendly, having an English friend or having a photo taken with one is somewhat seen as a bit of status symbol in the city, so you soon get use to people buying you drinks, meals et cetera or wanting to have a photo taken with you!

The teaching also has been extremely pleasing, the students are fantastic and one major difference to the UK, speaking as former student is how attentive they are, there is a real want and desire to learn and the importance of a good education is thoroughly understood by the students. The only teething problem I experienced is that being from the East End of London, it soon became apparent that I spoke far too quickly and I had slow my speech down accordingly but aside from that its being a joy to teach them thus far and a great character building exercise.

I hope the rest of my time here is as pleasurable as the previous three months have been.

Michael-Kieran Hudson, 22 year old from East London