Time Flies!

Welcome to the Chengdu YWCA!

Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. I lost internet for a few days, and then my adapter decided to conveniently break, but here I am again!

I can’t believe it’s been a month already! I’m FINALLY getting more accustomed to the busy schedule I’ve been given. Days just seem to fly from one class to another! Teaching as often as I do has really helped my confidence. I now feel better about what I’m teaching, and I love traveling to these different locations and getting a further glimpse of what life in China is really like.

I’m actually in Jintang Wednesdays-Fridays now. I also teach at a newly added middle/primary school, which is near the orphanage, instead of having the same kindergarten class twice a week. This school is much smaller than what I’ve become accustomed to, and contains no more than 30 kids a class! It’s like a breath of fresh air because I’m so used to being in a classroom of AT LEAST 50-60 kids.

My classes have me teaching six days a week, and when I’m not teaching I’m brainstorming future lesson plans. It’s become quite the assignment because communication with my students is limited. I wish learning Chinese was easier! I tried speaking some Chinese with one of my middle school classes and their only remark? “Silly teacher!” I’ve got a fairly difficult task at hand, but I love it! I love being so active all the time.

I go by a Morris Mandel quote: “The darkest hour has only sixty minutes.” I sometimes get very stressed because I just don’t know what to teach kids who barely understand what I say. Walking into the classroom, however, and being welcomed with hugs and applause really lets me know how much the students appreciate me trying to help them. At the end of most of my classes I have students lining up so I can take a picture with them, kids begging me for my email, or people swarming me so they can hug and kiss my cheeks. It’s adorable! I actually had to make a separate email here because of all the people who have asked to contact me!

I have made a few new friends my age here who attend the local universities-from Sichuan University to the Chengdu Institute of Technology. They like to take Barbara and me out to try local foods, and even to explore Chengdu night life! The city REALLY lights up at night.


I’ve also been getting caught up in exploring the different food here in China. I love hot pots! Spicy Sichuan food is heavenly, but I often find myself tearing up when I eat it because it’s so darn hot! I still go by this rule: “Don’t ask. If you like it then eat it.”

I’ll only add that the people don’t waste ANY animal parts here when it comes to food. It’s definitely quite the sight walking by rabbit heads and chicken feet every day.

I’ve also started Chinese lessons! I’ve finally been introduced to pinyin (the system used to transcribe Chinese characters to the Roman alphabet, which is the one used in English). I was told if I figure out the basic sounds in the pinyin alphabet, learning Chinese will come so much easier to me.

Thanks for taking the time to read this everyone! Talk to you all again soon!

Zài jiàn!

Want to know how you can have an internship experience like Alyssa’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


Hello, my name Is Alyssa Brown and I'm currently a sophomore at Jamestown Community College on the Cattaraugus County Campus. As an honor student, I've worked on campus as a Peer Mentor, and played soccer for the Jaguars this past fall. Go Jags! In my spare time, however, you can catch me listening to music or hanging out in the Learning Center with my friends. As of now I'm currently trying to master the Mandarin language for an internship I'm completing in Chengdu,China. I'm more than delighted with JCC and the opportunity it has provided me with to both study and teach abroad at the same time!