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Experience working abroad during holiday time

Experience working abroad during holiday time

We always welcome students to keep in touch, to let us know how they are keeping and to tell us about any new experiences they have been involved in. Nicole Gray ex-Bosworth student currently at the University of Oxford spent 5 weeks working in China during her summer break, below she shares her experience:

“This summer I spent 5 weeks volunteering at a school in Quanzhou, China, teaching English to two classes of around 30 students aged 8-10 years old. Each week I was given set topics to plan lessons and activities around, which I then delivered to the children who were tested on their progress at the end of the programme.

I found it extremely rewarding to see the children progressing in the lessons and practicing outside of the classroom- on my first day almost all of the children would not answer when I asked them their names, but by the end of the programme both the children’s language and confidence had improved and they were all keen to speak out and practice their English with me and their peers.

Additionally, I helped out with the children’s sports and activities sessions and was invited to their talent show and birthday celebrations. Bonding with the children and seeing them progress has inspired me to teach abroad again, and with the TEFL qualification that I obtained from this programme I am hoping to teach in Spain after I finish my degree.

Outside of school hours, I spent time learning about Chinese dining culture: business dinners paid for by the employer are a highly social activity that can last for many hours, and have certain ‘rules’- for example if you are toasting your employer you must touch your glass to the bottom of theirs, to represent your relative social position. I also had a lesson on the Guzhen, organised by a local friend that I made and have remained in contact with, visited local temples, and climbed Mount Qingyuan.

The area I was living in was particularly interesting as it was a gated community, yet the majority of the apartments and houses were completely vacant. These ‘ghost towns’ are typical in China and occur due to the different development procedures that occur there. Many Chinese towns are finely planned, and built to near completion before people begin to move in.

The nearby city of Quanzhou however has a population of 8 million and on my trips into the city I noticed the contrast between traditional Chinese shops and businesses, and huge Western-style shopping malls that have developed much more recently.

My experience in China has not only created an overwhelming desire to teach abroad in the future, but also allowed me to experience a totally different culture as part of my daily life- something which I have not had the opportunity to do before.”

At A-level Nicole achieved A*A*A*a in Biology, Psychology, Geography & Maths (summer 2016) and achieved her ambition of studying Human Sciences at the University of Oxford.

We asked Nicole to sum up her time at Bosworth in 5 words she replied “diverse, friendly, inspiring, focused and enjoyable.” Thanks Nicole, we look forward to future adventures!

Nicole is pictured in the centre of the school children and on the right of the second picture.