Orientation: July 10-13
Midpoint Break: July 28-30
Closing: August 12-13
Volunteering with Learning Enterprises is an intense, rewarding, and sometimes life-changing experience. Your trip begins in Shanghai, where you will meet with the other international volunteers and have the opportunity to explore the city, settle administrative matters (exchanging currency, cellphones etc.) and recover from jet lag.
Note: The LE China program is unique among the LE programs because you will be living and working with Chinese living and teaching partners from Nanjing University.
We will then take the bullet train to Nanjing where we will meet the Nanjing University students who will be our Teaching Partners and Living Partners. In Nanjing, you will also be able to tour the city and see where the Chinese volunteers attend university. The formal in-country training will also begin with Teaching Partners working together to brainstorm curriculums and lesson plans.
From there, we will take the train to a small city (location TBA), where we will separate into our respective villages. There will be approximately four to five volunteers per village. All volunteers will meet again for a midpoint trip two weeks into the program. After the program, volunteers can travel with other volunteers or return home.
The program will be based in the Jiangsu Province.
Midpoint Break will likely be in Hangzhou.
No language requirement.
the ideal volunteer:
· Energetic, enthusiastic, and patient!
· Creativity and ability to think outside the box
· Strong interest in meeting new people, embracing a new culture, and excited to teach English
· Responsible and reliable. The program starts from the moment of acceptance.
· Committed to the LE mission of expanding horizons through global volunteerism.
· Open-minded, adaptable, and optimisticn-minded, adaptable, and optimistic
Teaching English is the focus of Learning Enterprises. You and your Teaching Partner will team up and teach about 30 to 40 students at the local school for 4 hours a day; bigger classes may be split in half for two 2 hour sessions instead of one 4 hour session. Your Teaching Partner will help you translate and direct your students. This is an invaluable experience, and one that distinguishes the China program from other LE programs as your Teaching Partner may very well become your best friend while in China.
Classes are divided by skill level and will range from beginner to advanced knowledge of English. Student’s ages will also range from 6 to 18 years old. Most students will be used to textbook learning and will be eager to learn from a native-English speaker. LE encourages lesson plans to be interactive and fun that encourage oral communication as much as possible. Musical chairs and class sing-alongs are some great ways to engage your students. Basic teaching supplies like chalk will be available; however, you can buy classroom supplies in-country. We recommend bringing small prizes like stickers, pictures, American candy, or small souvenirs from the US. Students are quite curious about the outside world and will respond well to such prizes.
You will be living in a traditional Chinese village, meaning you will probably have basic, rural conditions with squat toilets and little to no running water. However, some villages and homes are more modern, with indoor plumbing and air-conditioning.
Your home in China will most likely include the parents, grandparents, and a host sibling. Your meals will often have more vegetables than you are used to. Additionally, meat is not as common as it is in the west. If there is meat, it is usually pork or chicken. While it is possible to be a vegetarian in China, it may be hard to explain to your host family why you refuse to eat meat that they may have bought for you. Host families will nevertheless try to accommodate your dietary needs.
Many host families will have never had the opportunity to interact with westerners; this will be just as an exciting experience for them as it is for you. Expect your host family to want to take you places around the countryside and help you accommodate to village life. Your Nanjing University Living Partner, who are generally competent in English, will share in your experience and interpret for you. You are still a personal guest and you should behave accordingly.
Your village will be small and you will likely be able to walk everywhere. You will have plenty of free-time to get to know your host family, your village, its scenery and surroundings.
Chinese food is comprised of very diverse things. A willingness to try new food is highly encouraged. In lower income families of China it is common to eat the same dishes multiple times in the day and throughout the week.
Just like anywhere else, Chinese social etiquette and customs can be nuanced and complex things for foreigners to fully understand. Polite respectfulness as well as a willingness to be open-minded are essential for LE China volunteers.