Taking it All in!

One of the beautiful old buildings we have seen on our journey!

Every day in China is a new experience! I try different foods, go to new places, and see different things. I’m not going to lie, the best thing about China (so far) is the food! Now that we are getting into the third week of our experience our schedule is starting to become a little crazy. As of now, starting on Tuesday I will be teaching as few as 16 classes!

Every week we have two kindergarten classes on Tuesday and Friday mornings. We have a class we call English Corner, where we discuss various topics (this class is more for the people who know how to speak English fairly well but just want to practice). Wednesday we go to an orphanage in the city of Jintang and we teach in the Hong Kong YMCA School. Wednesdays are crazy–I will be teaching six eighth grade classes along with helping out at the orphanage. Alyssa and I will also be receiving Chinese lessons on these days!

On Thursday we go to the Huaikou Middle School. There are close to 5,000 students in this school, and when we went to visit they were so excited to see us! They were all waving and yelling “Hi” to us. Friday nights we have a class of 1-5 year olds. We have decided that songs, dances, and games are the easiest way to teach them. Saturdays we have two classes; one is 6-7 year olds and the other is 8-9 year olds. And our last class on Sundays is for the older people.

We also went to what the YMCA members called “Asian-town,” and it was probably the best time that I have had while I have been here. The shops were amazing (really great stuff for really cheap), the food was amazing (as always), and the people were so excited to see us that six different groups of people asked to take pictures of us or with us. Oh, and we got flower hats!! After that we went to a field of yellow flowers. It was literally miles of yellow flowers with little paths in them. The flowers make oil that is used for cooking here. The only bad thing was that there were bees everywhere (as in thousands!!!)

We also went to the Chengdu Institute of Technology today. We saw two different types of dorm rooms. The first was one room shared by eight people, and the second one was a tiny room designed for two people. The campus was beautiful, and even though the buildings were a little run down, the layout was amazing. The library sat overlooking a lake and it was breathtaking. They also had a huge area for sports, 20 tennis courts, 20 basketball courts, and a huge stadium for soccer matches. The campus was much different than what I am used to, since at the JCC-Cattaraugus County we don’t even have dorm rooms! I am excited to continue exploring, teaching, shopping, and eating!

Want to know how you can earn an internship like Barbara’s? JCC offers a wide variety of internship opportunities, both abroad and at home, paid and unpaid, for credit or not, with the college or with area businesses and organizations. Check out our listing of available internship opportunities and fill out an internship interest form to learn more.

About the author

Barbara Simon

Hi, my name is Barbara and I’m currently a sophomore at Jamestown Community College. This semester I decided to spend my time in China teaching English. My future goal is to teach and this will be a great experience!