For me, coming to China was not the well thought out plan it may
have been for some. After graduation, the prospect of embarking
on a lifelong career was not as appealing as spending ten months
in a foreign land far away from rainy monday mornings and student
loan repayments. So to the surprise of family and friends and to
be honest, myself, I was on a plane to Beijing wondering if I'd
made the right decision.
Eight months in and no regrets. Even simple things such as chopsticks
and crossing the road were, at first a mystery but are now part
of a daily life that i know in two months time i will greatly miss.
Teaching was not my primary reason for coming to china. Having
no previous aspirations to teach the prospect of standing in front
of a group of 20 Chinese teenagers and having absolutely nothing
to say was daunting to say the least. Happily due to the students’
enthusiasm and motivation this has
never been the case and the classes never feel two hours long. The
student's keenness and creativity continue to surprise me and often
I suspect that they are not the only ones learning from classes.
The seven week break for the Spring festival provided the chance
to spread our wings outside of Beijing and was an opportunity I
was keen to pursue. Despite the sheer volume of people moving around
the country we experienced few problems and many provinces. The
beauty and hospitality of the country and its people were unlike
anything I had experienced before and something
I will never forget.
In short, if you are even considering taking part in this programme
I would urge you to do it. The staff were always on hand to help
with any problems or questions you have and if you are as lucky
as I have been you may meet some amazing people to share your experiences
and help you track down a
decent cup of coffee, or whatever else it is you find yourself craving!