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Guizhou Forerunner College

About

Guizhou Forerunner College (GFC) is a non-profit college in China, founded to bestow practical, high quality education for under-served students in Guizhou Province. We provide three years of low-to-no-cost higher education for students in vocational fields.

Our mission is to educate and support poor, outstanding students in acquiring employment and overcoming poverty for themselves and their families. With the motto: “Integrity, Love, Nobility,” we strive to cultivate these characteristics in students while encouraging personal and economic growth.

Funded by VIA Faith-Hope-Love Foundation, GFC officially opened on September 15,

Founded
2011
Headquarters

United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Tom
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was once a volunteer at GFC and this has been one of my most unforgettable experience. With the attractive natural environment, a team of passionate colleagues, and most importantly those intelligent and hard-working students, I enjoyed doing this job in such a beautiful campus.

I worked mostly as a teaching assistant, helping teachers with class logistics and conducting English tutoring. I also helped organize some learning activities, for example, everyday English corner. In addition to those underprivileged students with financial difficulties or visual impairment, we also provide training for middle school English teachers to enhance their speaking skills and teaching practices. Moreover, I even contributed to a variety of administrative issues, such as document translation, new report and so on.

It was such an exciting life at GFC with a group of kindhearted international volunteers and exposure to local minority culture.

What would you improve about this program?
Since it is newly built school, it will take some time to systematize the teaching and learning practices.
Default avatar
Chris
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The program is quite interesting. Our time is separated into two parts. First, we are full-time volunteer interns, teaching the Chinese students English, having fun with them, mingle with them, it's awesome. Then the second part, we study in the summer camp, learning Chinese and some really interesting local things, such as tea arts and production, we went to the tea plantation and picked some tea leaves ourselves, we also tried the local Batik art, it's one of China's intangible cultural heritage. The surrounding area is great for hiking, exploring rural China, the locals are very friendly. Overall, this is something worth experiencing.

What would you improve about this program?
The schedule got changed up several times during our stay there, the staff were trying to figure things out as it goes. This is the first year they are hosting the summer camp. So it's understandable, the staff are very friendly, and they did their best to make our stay as meaningful and comfortable as possible.

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Chris Wu is from California, he immigrated to the United States when he was 15 from Shanghai, China. He is now 24 years old with bachelor degrees in Physics and Asian Studies from UC Berkeley. He enjoys volunteering, Chinese and Mexican food and badminton.

Why did you decide to enroll with Guizhou Forerunner College in China?

It was March, 2012. I was turned down from a reserch internship position in Germany which they had previously admitted me. Thus, I was in a panic and summer starts in May. I went on our college’s job and internship online database for UC Berkeley, the Calisto.

I searched for internship position and typed saw Guizhou Forerunner College’s post. I’m a Chinese immigrant to the States, thus I found it attractive to go back and see a different place in China.

I was especially interested in the school’s aim in helping out the local underprivileged, especially the minority girls. Therefore, I decided to apply and go there.

Tell me about one person you met.

One of my student, Louis, whom I tutored after class is a very interesting student. He is of Tujia minority and came from a mountain village, he’s in fact the descendent of the village chief.

He told me many interesting stories of their local customs and the sad fact that he and other younger generation does not see the need or benefit of learning their own language and script which differs from Mandarin Chinese.

He also shared a lot of folktales and stories with me. Many of them are fascinating in that you can tell that there is some superstition involved. But at the same time they reflected real life problems such as urbanization and corporations forcing farmers out and the retaliations from the farmer community, etc.

If you could go back and do something differently, what would it be?

If I could go back, I would love to teach more in classes and spend more time with the Chinese students, listen to their stories, the folk tales from their villages, and I should record them down.

What was the best moment of the entire trip?

The best moment of the trip was the day when I left. On the same day several other volunteer interns were leaving too. Students came to see us off in tears, and we were all very moved by their sincerity and love.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Personally, I met my girlfriend here. Professionally, I went back to GFC after I graduated from UC Berkeley to work for them and try to start an international student program there. I will probably be here for two years so I can gain valuable teaching and administration experiences that will help me in the future.