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Volunteers' Stories

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ABBY POAR
British

Teaching English in Schools in Yangzhou, China

         

I went to Yangzhou, China to teach for two weeks; this involved teaching classes of 10 to 500 children from as young as 10 years old, up to adults!

Two weeks isn’t a very long time but it’s amazing what you can learn about a country and its culture from doing this type of experience; working and living alongside the natives of the country.

The best element of my trip was the people. The curiosity of the Chinese is endearing and their friendliness is infectious. Everyone you meet, from the teachers and students to the taxi drivers are more than willing to help you as best they can.

Despite Yangzhou visually looking like a Western city in many ways, with big shopping malls and McDonalds; ironically many of the people living there are still fascinated by the sight of a Westerner! On one occasion I was sat in a restaurant when two Chinese ladies came to sit with me. One didn’t speak any English and the other very basic; with my extremely basic Mandarin it made an interesting twenty minutes! But as a student told me one day, ‘smiling is the international language’ and this I feel really is a true statement.

I feel I have gained a lot of confidence from the experience; it’s amazing how being out of your ‘comfort zone’ for a while can be fulfilling and a lot of fun!

Overall, the trip was an amazing time and has made me eager to want to travel again in the future with Travellers,

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