OK so here goes blog number 2! For this blog, I thought I would tell you a little bit about my travels before I arrived in Beijing but firstly I thought I’d better explain how I came to be on the China internship and doing TEFL in the first place!
Ever since I finished Uni and even before that, I knew that I didn’t wanna jump straight into a job partly because I have no idea what I really wanna do and partly because I love to travel, see new things and experience new cultures.
After uni, I worked and travelled around Australia for 9 months and had an unbelievable time but unfortunately ran out of money and had to return home earlier than planned. I then got myself a temp job with the plan to save for a couple of months and get back travelling again, but two years later, I found myself in exactly the same job, even sitting at the same desk! Even the transition from a Boots meal deal to a Panini and a latte from Eat wasn’t enough to save me!
So, thanks to a very special friend of mine, I signed up with I-to-I to do the 140 hr TEFL course. At this stage, I had no idea where I wanted to teach, just knew I wanted out of the UK doing something completely different! I have done a fair bit of travelling before so that wasn’t the scary part for me. What worried me the most was the fact that I have always been very shy and so nervous and uncomfortable speaking in front of people-oh! Not to mention the fact that I had never spoken to a child before, but I thought that the best way to overcome these fears was to tackle them straight on and really challenge myself!
So, for my 25th birthday last year, I treated myself to a TEFL course. The TEFL course itself was actually very interesting and enjoyable (for the most part) to complete. I especially liked the grammar section as I really felt like I learned something. It was only in about September that I thought that I really should to something with my TEFL course and it was then that I decided upon the China internship.
China has always been on my to-do list and this programme seemed the obvious choice for me, a two week orientation/sight-seeing programme in Beijing and then placements all over China. You get to put a preference down as to whether you would rather go to North or South China and as to what age of kids you would like to teach. As I was a complete novice to everything, I put no preference to each option as I thought the element of surprise would be good!! So I applied, had the telephone interview, which was absolutely nothing to worry about I may add-just general questions as to why you chose China and how you thought you would cope with the transitions and then about a month later got my letter of acceptance, finished the course, applied for my visa and here I am!
I actually left the UK on 15th January this year as a fancied a couple of weeks travelling before I actually got to Beijing. I flew to Singapore-13 hour flight-not cool first and spent 4 nights there. Singapore is a fantastic modern city, very clean and a great place for a stopover. Loved it there! Next, I flew to Bali for a week on the reputable airline “Value Air” haha. Bali was an eye-opener for sure, Indonesia is an incredibly poor country and I felt guilty as a westerner coming though purely for hedonistic reasons when all the locals were working so incredibly hard to provide that kind of lifestyle. Nonetheless, I stayed in a fantastic hostel and met loads of cool people and had such a great time! Next, Hong Kong for a few days-again a fantastic city! Went my tram up to the peak overlooking the city and to Ocean Park where I saw some pandas as well as a harbor cruise!
Great couple of weeks travelling! Pictures to follow! Next blog, I will tell you all about the orientation fortnight in Beijing. In the meantime, any questions, please do ask! And in return, any ideas on warmers and fun games for primary kids??? Need to spice up my lessons a bit I feel! Thanks guys!! Hope to hear from some of you soon!!! Jen xxxxxxxx