Gabi, from the USA, spent three months staying with a local host family in Shanghai as part of the Homestay Tutor program. During that time, she joined a family trip to Xinjiang and completed an internship.
I spent three months in Shanghai as a homestay English teacher. I was staying with a host family, I was teaching their son English while also getting to live with them and experience Chinese culture in the best way possible – with native people.
I was doing a part-time internship at a company and a part-time teaching job with the son of the family that I was living with.
In the mornings, I would go to my internship and in the afternoons, I would come back and teach the child.
His name was Kevin and it was really nice to be able to see the progression after three months of what he learnt. And just to be able to give a gift that I have just been born with, speaking English, to somebody who might not get it otherwise is just so worthwhile and its so rewarding.
By the end of the summer, he could respond to me, he could have conversations – I did that! If you go to China as a homestay tutor, you did that, you really taught someone something – and that’s one of the best things you can do for someone.
Another amazing thing about being a homestay tutor is that you learn just as much as you’re teaching. I learnt so much about Chinese culture from being so integrated into the Chinese lifestyle, eating Chinese food every day, living with a Chinese family, my Mandarin improved so much – so much better than it would have if I was just going to normal classes.
I feel like I gained just as much as I had given, and that’s why I feel like being a homestay tutor is so rewarding.