Engineering student Shantu from the University of Southampton spent five weeks volunteering as an English teacher in Beijing. As well as the standard EduCamp program, Shantu also joined the one-week homestay taster program in Beijing.
How was your experience on the program?
It was one of the best summers I’ve ever had, the programme totally immerses you in a new culture. Straight off the plane you’re confronted with new foods and customs.
I’d highly recommend the homestay week as it’s the kind of experience you won’t get anywhere else, it takes a native to really show off Beijing.
Would you recommend the program to a friend and why?
Definitely, it was a very affordable way to travel over summer. Others on the programme got even more bang for their buck by continuing travelling after the programme to take advantage of the paid for flights.
What did you learn from taking part in the program?
The real-life experience in the kind of skills an employer really looks for, like being able to improvise when needed, make executive decisions, and being dependable. As you are just as important to the programme as the programme is to you.
How will the program help with your future career/ studies?
Most notably being able to adapt the way I transfer information to someone. The programme meant you had to sometimes adapt to a language barrier, change according to group sizes, and vary to different ages.
What was your favourite/ most memorable moment?
Unquestionably the homestay week, you can go anywhere as a tourist but often you’ll only visit a certain place or restaurant once. It takes someone who lives there to take you to the places they keep going back to.