This was my first global volunteer experience. I went with an open mind and eager to learn. For two weeks I taught conversation English at the Xi'an Biomedical Technical School. The age group ranged from 15 to 22 years of age. The school had a "foreign affairs" office, comprised of native Chinese who spoke and taught English. They were very supportive. We were allowed to be creative and were energized by the students, who were very respective to our presence.
I felt welcomed, accepted and valued. The Country coordinator met with us daily to review and refresh. We documented our days by journaling. We learned basic Mandrin, cultural traditions and had an opportunity to visit historical sites on the week-end, including a Tang Dynasty Opera, Peking Duck, the old city, Terra Cotta warriers to name just a few.
I learned a lot about the people and the country by first hand interaction with the local people. You would never experience such an intimate "view" if you were only there as a tourist.
Plan to return. I've written a poem and journal about my adventure and also prepared a collection of pictures on a DVD presentation that was shared with our host school.