Niamh – teaching practicum Beijing

How was your experience on the program?

The Beijing summer camp exceeded my expectations. I have met such funny and interesting people on this programme, it has been lovely getting to know everyone and teaching the students. I am very happy I decided to do the camp – it was seriously an amazing six weeks!

This has been my second visit to China, this time I have seen a completely different part of the country, but just as exciting and wild as last time.

Would you recommend the program to a friend and why?

 Yes absolutely, I think it is a great programme to do in order to get to know more about China and the culture while at the same time, making friends. If you have the funds and time, it really is a great experience.

The programme also allowed me to do things I haven’t done in ages – such as choreographing dance routines. For each of the carnival nights, each class will perform a dance and with my last class, I helped to choreograph it.

We also organised our own trips to see more of China, which included a day trip to the city of Tianjin, just East of Beijing and to climb the Jinshanling Great Wall at sunrise.

What did you learn from completing a teaching practicum?

I learned how to assert myself in the classroom and take control of the room while also keeping the class entertained. The experience has also helped me to gain self-confidence to control the classroom/group of people and to collaborate with others to prepare interesting and educational lesson plans.

I also enjoyed several Chinese culture classes!

We learned how to do Chinese calligraphy, make tea in a Chinese tea ceremony, make dumplings and do Chinese paper-cutting!

What did you do in your spare time?

During our time off, I travelled with a group of foreign teachers and hiked the Great Wall for the sunrise and taken many trips into the city to eat delicious street food.

It is so easy to make friends, everyone that went to the Beijing camp was lovely and there was always someone who wanted to travel or make plans. There was always something to do whether it was taking the bullet train to Tianjin or going to get bubble tea at 10 pm at the mall.

What was your favourite/ most memorable moment?

There have been so many funny moments in the camp with the kids.

One of the most memorable moments has been when I performed the ‘miam miam miam’ dance with one of my classes at the carnival party!

There were also a couple of surprising moments, such as taking a Tuk Tuk for the first time and the driver not allowing me to close either of the back doors!

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