Tom Goricke

Having studied law for far too long, the opportunity presented itself to take a much needed year out before the beginning of my training contract with a law firm in London. I thought very hard about what to do with this last of year of freedom and dismissed some tempting options that included doing nothing lying on a beach for a year. Instead I made up my mind to do something a little bit more constructive and something that would be of some use for my future career. Teaching English in China on the TEIC programme was a very good compromise as it combined the possibility of travelling, learning Chinese and discovering the culture of this fascinating country, with working and earning some money.

Even though working as an English teacher in China has, on the face of it, nothing to do with my future career in law, I think it has been a valuable experience as it has enabled me to talk in front of many people, deal with many different personalities from a different culture and it has also greatly enhanced my improvisation skills. In this respect I have learnt many new skills that will be of great use to me in the future. Most importantly though, teaching Chinese students has been great fun as most are eager to learn English and are very grateful to you for helping them with this.

Apart from teaching I have had a great time in China, having had the good fortune of living in Beijing, a pulsating, dynamic city that has both a magnificent past, strikingly symbolized by the awe inspiring Forbidden City in the heart of the city, and a doubtlessly fantastic future in this “Asian century” as the city gets ready for the international spotlight when it hosts the 2008 Olympic Games. Beijing has also been a great base from which to explore the rest of China, as trains and planes go to every corner of this vast land. Finally, the ultimate experience not to be missed is the truly delicious Chinese food that has truly lived up to all the hype. Ganbei!

Final message:
"As you know our year in China has come to an end and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for making it possible for me to travel to China and experience the extraordinary year that I have just experienced. China is an extraordinary country and I love it dearly."