While being a volunteer English teacher in Weihai, China, for six months in 2012 I discovered that the best feeling in the world is helping a child learn, and it was during this time I decided that teaching internationally is the right career for me.
I will complete my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification this spring, and when I graduate in July 2015 my goal is to become an English teacher to the left-behind children (children who are either living by themselves or with a grandparent because their parents have moved to a city for work) in rural China. Eventually I would like to build on that, and go on to work for an NGO that supports the education of rural children. These children are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to preparing for China’s national college entrance exam, because of the lack of quality teachers, especially English teachers.
I believe any country’s future prosperity rests with the education of the younger generation, and with the US and China being the top two economies in the world it is important that we continue to work well together to ensure a stable future for both of us. While studying in Beijing I will not only be experiencing their culture and learning their language but I will be a strong representative of the United States of America, because I believe it’s the little things that lead to a respect between two countries and peoples.
My home university, Brigham Young University-Idaho has partnered with Capital Normal University in Beijing, which is in the top 5% of universities in China, for more than ten years. Living there for a solid four months will really give me time to settle in and get to know the city by expanding my language use. CNU hosts students from all over the world, so rather than taking a class with all other Americans, I will be grouped with students at the same proficiency level, which means Mandarin will be the connecting language between classmates. I have chosen this university because the credits will transfer to BYUI and be applied towards my Mandarin minor, and because Beijing will give me the language and cultural experience that I crave. While at CNU I will be taking 300-level Mandarin language immersion courses, which includes twenty classroom hours a week, and outside the classroom we will study with a native-speaking Chinese language partner. I will also be enrolled in Chinese Culture, which includes visits to historical and political sites in Beijing, interviewing elderly Beijing citizens about what it was like to grow up during a time of such great change, and creating a photo essay.
I have been accepted by Magic Hospital to be a volunteer during my four months in Beijing. Magic Hospital is a non-profit organization who works with sick, handicapped, abused, and at-risk children in hospitals and orphanages. I will have the...