Niamh, studying Physics at Aberystwyth University, spent five weeks volunteering at a summer camp in Beijing. She also joined two one-week homestay taster programs in both Beijing and Shanghai!
The Beijing camp exceeded my expectations. I have met such funny and interesting people on this programme, it has been lovely getting to know everyone and teaching the students. I am very happy I decided to do the camp!
This has been my second visit to China, this time I have seen a completely different part of the country, but just as exciting and wild as last time.
Yes absolutely, I think it is a great programme to do in order to get to know more about China and the culture while at the same time, making friends. If you have the funds and time, it really is a great experience.
The programme also allowed me to do things I haven’t done in ages – such as choreographing dance routines. For each of the carnival nights, each class will perform a dance and with my last class, I helped to choreograph it.
We also organised our own trips to see more of China, which included a day trip to the city of Tianjin, just East of Beijing and to climb the Jinshanling Great Wall at sunrise.
I learned how to assert myself in the classroom and take control of the room while also keeping the class entertained. The programme has helped me to gain self-confidence to control the classroom/group of people and to collaborate with others to prepare interesting and educational lesson plans.
I also learned how to do Chinese calligraphy, make tea in a Chinese tea ceremony, make dumplings and do Chinese paper-cutting.
There have been so many funny moments in the camp with the kids. One of the most memorable moments has been when I performed the ‘miam miam miam’ dance with one of my classes at the carnival party.