Ryan Hornbeck

Luke McGlynn I cannot speak highly enough of Dr. Thomas’ program or the general TEIC experience. As a professional experience, I recommend TEIC to anyone who is interested in developing: (1) Savvy presentation skills. Communicating meanings through limited vocabulary (your Chinese or their English) requires unification of the gestures, words and images at your disposal into coherent messages. (2) Poise in unexpected/bizarre situations (you’ll get your fill of those). (3) Research projects to pursue in graduate school. Many of my teaching colleagues returned home with questions and materials that will form the bases of their postgraduate research. (4) Applications or standardized test capacities. If you’re one of those recent graduates who just needs a little time to figure things out or study for that big test, this should be a good situation for you.

As a platform for learning, you will of course come to appreciate and perhaps even adopt many of the thoughts, habits and customs attendant to China’s rich cultural history. I was however, surprised at how much I learned about myself and my own cultural background. I went to China to question them, and I did. But they also questioned me – politely but relentlessly – about America and from perspectives I had never considered. Moreover, as many of my typically ‘American’ personal habits came across as rather ridiculous to my Chinese friends, there was ample occasion to reflect on the structures of meaning that pervaded my own ‘western’ orientation to the world. It was an introspective pleasure to join my Chinese friends in the study of myself as an American. And over the course of my 18 months I supplemented my Chinese lessons and weighty tomes of Chinese history with books on England, Rome, Greece and the origins of ‘western’ culture. I left China with a heightened appreciation of both cultural heritages.

Finally, as the other testimonials here confirm, TEIC is terrific fun and consistently reaffirming. I would just add that TEIC is concomitant with serious responsibilities. Like it or not, you will have a major impact on your students – not just in English education, but how you represent your nation and cultural attachments will influence hundreds of eager, curious young minds.