Meet Ryan: he went on the China internship. Here he tells you his 10 favourite things about the internship!
1. I was in my last year at University when the travel bug bit me. As soon as I heard about i-to-i TEFL I was on the phone talking to the friendly advisors (who are now my colleagues – bizarre!) and before I knew it I had signed up to the China Internship. It gave me something really exciting to look forward to and work towards, and I wasn’t disappointed.
2. The Chalkboard community was a fantastic online resource where I met loads of friends who had also signed up to the China internship. We helped each other through the course and I arranged to fly out to China with some of these people. They are now great friends who I keep in touch with regularly.
3. I thoroughly enjoyed the course. The grammar sections were challenging however fascinating to learn the ins and outs of our own language. I particularly enjoyed the videos and the specialist modules. After completing the online course I couldn’t wait to get started. I felt so confident and ready.
4. Arriving in China was a daunting experience. The skyscrapers, that strange Chinese writing, the smells, the sounds and the general atmosphere. However, the friendly team based in Beijing were waiting for all the interns at the airport and transported us safely to the hotel where we had an orientation with training. Then the fun really began.
5. The other interns were great. It was an amazing experience to meet people from all over the world. We had some crazy days (and nights) out in the lively city of Beijing.
6. I have to say the food in China was incredible. On our second day in Beijing we were treated to a feast of Beijing Duck. Throughout my adventure in China I also had an opportunity to try some of the more bizarre foods such as jellyfish, chicken feet, and snake! Are you brave enough?
7. The 20 hour practical part of the course was based in Beijing. It was great to have that hand on experience before the real thing. The other interns and I were all in the same boat and we learnt a lot from the discussions and group work. The tutors were well experienced, enthusiastic and passionate about TEFL. It was great fun.
8. The Great Wall of China. How can you go all the way to China and not see the Great Wall? It was unbelievable. Words can really not describe it. A wonder of the world. During the induction period in Beijing all the interns had an amazing, free of charge day out. We ventured to the Great Wall, The Olympic Stadium, and a grand theatre where we watched an amazing Chinese Acrobat performance.
9. The school I was placed at was perfect. It was a reputable school with great colleagues and friendly students that were always so eager to learn. The internship was great as we got assigned to an advisor and supporter who was only a quick email or phone call away had we any problems. They were so helpful and always checking up on us. It was reassuring to know we had that help at hand.
10. After the internship I was sent a TEFL certificate which included all the aspects of the online study and the practical weekend course as well as the hours of experience I gathered whilst teaching in the school. It was great to know I was qualified to teach English as a foreign language. After I completed the internship it took only a day to secure myself another teaching job in China.
If you enjoyed this blog and you’re looking to head out to China, or are thinking about it, take a look at our China guide for more information – with everything from the cost of living to the nightlife, we’ve pretty much got all bases covered!