Als Freiwillige in China

Cornelia verbringt sechs Monate als Freiwillige in China. Sie nimmt an dem geförderten Freiwilligendienst weltwärts teil, der vom Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung gefördert wird.

"After I have had graduated from high school by the age of 18, I had decided to spent half a year in China to teach English as a volunteer. I have always been interested in Chinese culture and wanted to gain some experience before going to university in Germany.

I spent an introduction week in Shanghai with three other volunteers, I made friends with, and we went on sightseeing and joined a Mandarin course, led by our partner organisation “Xu Bo”.

On the first of September the four of us traveled from Shanghai to Zhengzhou, the capitol of Henan Province. My local coordinator “Jessica” picked me up and drove me to No.9 High School, which should become my working place for the next six months. The school is really lovely. I was led to a neat apartment in a dormitory, in which I live on the campus.

I teach “Oral English” twelve times a week for the high school grade one students of the main school. In my first lesson I was very nervous, but because of the fact, that I had been a group leader in Germany, I am used to speak in front of large groups of people. Different from German classes, Chinese Classes command forty to sixty students and due to that, I was for example asked to use a microphone for speaking like the local teachers do, but I refused.

Though it is a big amount of teenagers, I like my students pretty much. They are mainly fifteen to sixteen years old and excited about everything I tell them about Europe and Germany. The students are very shy and afraid to make mistakes, therefore I let them work in groups, let them prepare speeches or play games, which help the students to learn English in an entertaining way.

On top of that, our school includes an international department, where students, who want to study abroad, go to. My office is set at that building, and that is gave me the possibility to get to know five foreign teachers. I also made friends with local teachers, who can speak English properly and help us to improve our Chinese.

On Chinese holidays, such as Moonfestival or National Day, I have already been able to travel around with my friends, who teach at other schools in Zhengzhou, too. We went to Xi'an, where we were amazed to see the famous “Terracotta Warriors”, visited “Kaifeng”, a lovely small town nearby, and met a nice Chinese girl, who drove us to “Shaolin Temple”. I also plan to go to Peking in two weeks, when my students are going to have exams.

Last week we celebrated Halloween party with the international students in the evening. I am glad to be able to have a good time with the students out of lesson, because some of them are close to my age and fun to talk to.

It has already been two months and the time passes by so quickly. I am thankful to be here and I am excited of the months laying ahead, including Christmas and Chinese New Year!

Till then, bye bye from Zhengzhou!"

Cornelia