Douglas Reiche Welsh

Doug Welsh is someone with a very diverse background, after studying Anthropology in college he spent 10 years working as a field archaeologist before moving into the transportation and logistics field, then into the oil field. With the downturn in oil prices Doug decided it was time for another change in career, and so he followed his heart to China.

Why did you choose this program?

Santa with children in China

I chose it because it was located in Shanghai, which is where I wanted to teach, and because they included more actual teaching experience than any other program.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

They gave suggestions for housing but pretty much left it up to us. I had an advantage in that I have friends in Shanghai who were able to arrange housing for me.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Just Do IT! open your mind, open your heart, don't expect to be just handed a certificate when you arrive, and have fun!

My strongest advice is, do it! but if you decide to do it, commit to it, you will be a long way from home, and without your support network, but if you are open and committed, you will find support is available.

Be ready to be the center of attention when you are out and about, depending on where you are, you may be the first foreigner people have ever seen, so embrace it, be an ambassador, be friendly.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Class began mid-morning with lectures about teaching, different styles and techniques etc., then late afternoon we did observed teaching with actual students, followed by a review session and critique of the student teachers.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

I honestly had no fears about going abroad, it's something I have been working towards for several years, and I picked a location where I already had friends, so my fears were more about the actual job I would be doing, teaching.

I have experience working with kids of all ages, but in a very different environment than the classroom, and then add in the cultural and language issues, I admit that I was nervous.

I learned pretty quick that program I was in took it seriously and dropped us into the classroom right away, which I liked and it gave me confidence that I would be able to handle it.