TEFL in China: Kelsey’s Story

Meet Kelsey: hailing from Southport in the UK, Kelsey has recently flown out as part of the China internship, and will be keeping us up to date with her goings on, as well as about her time teaching in Ghana (you can find out more about this on her blog).  Exciting stuff!  Read on to find out more about Kelsey…

Kelsey in Ghana

Hey Kelsey, so tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m from a small seaside town in the North West of England called Southport.  It’s “nice” and quiet, but I always knew I wanted to get out of there and see the world outside my window, so I guess that’s exactly why I’m writing this post now, whilst sat connected to Beijing(ian) internet… if that makes sense?!  I’m 20 years old, finished my A-Levels in 2013 and haven’t actually gotten a conventional 9-5pm job, but I’ve been to Ghana in West Africa twice, and now I’m in China!

My first time in Ghana, I volunteered as an English and Geography teacher for 5 months, teaching 14-29 year olds and had a blast!  With regards to teaching, I was SO nervous before I arrived, but when I got to school on the first day I was pushed into a classroom of around 45 14-29 year olds, and I guess being thrown in at the deep end has worked to my advantage.  Not everyone will learn best like that, and that’s why the internship I’m on now gives you great training to edge off your nerves.

When I was in Ghana, I also discovered my own “journey” when travelling around the country.  Within a group, we came across a very rural village in the Northern region of the country, where the people were in desperate need of intervention and help for their newest generations, and that’s why I went back in November/December of last year.

In between trips I’ve had various part time jobs, one of the highlights being working in a bookmakers… totally not my thing, but it raised funds for my travels!  That’s what I’ve realised over the past two years: I’m prepared to do anything to get to where I want to be, which is an important lesson.

I also teach English lessons via Skype too, which is a great experience and helps with money.  During the time I was working towards my trips to Ghana and China, I completed my i-to-i TEFL course – I did the 140hour online course complete with a 20hour weekend course, which I went to in Liverpool.  It was great to meet other people doing the same thing, and now I get to hear about all of their amazing stories from Thailand!  I met a couple who are now doing the teaching internship in Thailand, so I hope they’re just as excited to hear about my experience in China.

Kelsey with student in Ghana

What made you decide to TEFL and why did you choose the China internship?

I knew when I returned from Ghana for the first time that I wanted a teaching English qualification and of course, I came across TEFL.  i-to-i advised me about the opportunity to intern in China, and as I don’t have a degree, this was perfect for me.  I also wanted to be able to make a comparison between the two countries I will have taught in, which I’m sure I’ll be able to do.

How did you prepare for the move?

I attempted to learn some Mandarin, and although I picked some words up, I think it’ll be a lot easier now that I’m actually in China.  I’m totally open and crazy-excited about how life will be in China… it’s my first time in China so that alone is an achievement.  One more continent ticked off!

Feeling inspired?  You can start your own adventure with just a TEFL course, or even TEFL in China by booking yourself a space onto the China internship.

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