Applications for LE China are now open!
10 - 15 Volunteers
Program dates: July 12 - August 10
Volunteering with Learning Enterprises is an intense, rewarding, and potentially 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 volunteers and Teaching Partners working together to brainstorm curricula 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.
- 13-15 Volunteers.
- No language requirement.
THE IDEAL VOLUNTEER
- Energetic, enthusiastic, and patient!
- Creative and has the ability to think outside the box
- Has a strong interest in meeting new people, embracing a new culture, and is 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 optimistic
Teaching English is the focus of Learning Enterprises. You and your Teaching Partner will team up and teach an average of 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 with translations and help you 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. Students' 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, and oral communication should be emphasized 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 other classroom supplies in-country. We recommend bringing small prizes like stickers, pictures, American candy, or small souvenirs from the US, as students will be curious about where you come from and will appreciate your bringing items from home.
You will be living in a traditional Chinese village, meaning your living conditions may include 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 your host 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 exciting of an 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 will be generally competent in English, will share in your experience and interpret for you. Volunteers must keep in mind that they are personal guests, and 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 flavors. 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 for foreigners to fully understand. Polite respectfulness as well as a willingness to be open-minded are essential for LE China volunteers.
MEET YOUR PROGRAM DIRECTOR, EDEN!
My name is Eden Montalvo, and I am currently a junior at Millersville University dual-majoring in Special and Early Childhood Education. I am the oldest of 8 children in my family, which is a mix of full/half/step siblings. I love to watch movies, spend time with family and friends, and travel.
I am excited to work as the Program Director for LE China and to collaborate with people from all around the world toward an important cause. I want to do my part to contribute to Learning Enterprises and the expansion and increased awareness of the organization.
This past summer I spent four weeks teaching English to fifth grade students in the Jiangsu province. Together, the American/European and Chinese volunteers split into three neighboring villages. We communicated primarily through WeChat (a widely utilized Chinese app that is used for paying and all communication purposes) and shared ideas and stories during our midpoint break (which was spent in Suzhou). Within the villages, the volunteers constantly worked together to brainstorm lesson plans, and during free time we often went on walks, watched movies together, and hung out in each others company! Our host families were all very welcoming. I am lucky to have had such amazing people watch over me; they were truly like third parents to me! At the end of our time teaching in the villages, we all put together a ceremony that the classes performed in front of each other. It was very laid back, and the students enjoyed watching each other perform. I am very grateful for having the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing organization!
You can contact Eden at firstname.lastname@example.org.