Rebecca, a law student at the University of Cambridge, spent five weeks volunteering as an English teacher at summer camps in Yangjiang and Beijing in summer 2017.
I spent 5 weeks in China last summer teaching at Yangjiang in Guangdong Province and Changping in Beijing, and really enjoyed the experience! It was the first time travelling to Asia for me and the first time teaching too.
This opportunity was actually great as a first experience of travelling to China. The fact that the teachers and teaching assistants from the school were there to pick me up from the airport, to introduce me to some local customs and obviously translate things meant that I didn’t feel left alone and overwhelmed.
On the other hand, on days off and after the camps finished I had the freedom to explore the surroundings by myself and with the absolutely amazing people (locals as well as other English teachers from around the world) I met at the camp.
The teaching part was also a great experience I can only recommend. There is no need to actually stick exactly to the topics suggested by the school. Personally, I found it far more important to get my pupils engaged in the lessons and make sure they enjoy them because the whole aim of the camp is to improve their confidence when they speak English.
It’s extremely rewarding when the shy students who couldn’t get a word out when you arrived end up putting their hand up or even shouting an answer out as soon as you ask a question!
There is also plenty planned outside of the classroom like a talent show, water fights and trips to cultural sights depending on which camp you go to and what’s around.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to travel to China because this really is an opportunity you don’t get often and besides being fun will definitely look great on your CV!