Expanding Horizons for Oneself and Others

Impact: 5
Support: 5
Fun: 5
Value: 5
Safety: 5

I participated in this trip twice, my first two trips to China, and the experience was life-changing for me. While it reinforced my love of teaching, it also opened my eyes to communities in need and the good that improved education and resources can do for them.

Yunnan is a gorgeous but remote mountainous area where it's difficult for the minority groups who live there to receive support in education and living conditions. This trip aims to help students in these areas by inspiring them to continue to study and grow and achieve academically where many of them would ordinarily finish study after middle school. The students truly enjoy having the volunteers visit and work with them and gain an alternate perspective on what their education could be like.

Every moment of engaging the students, whether it was in the classroom, on the sports field, or just during free time, was tremendously rewarding for the volunteers. Especially for those who are from a more well-off area of the world this experience can be eye-opening. In my case, it inspired me to not only continue doing service work in the future but also to move to Asia and learn more about cultures different from my own.

Importantly, the Yunnan portion of the trip is not the negatively-viewed "voluntourism" that some trips are. The students get an experience that they would be unable to otherwise and that makes the trip come off as even more rewarding.

The visits to Beijing and Shanghai make up part of the tourism aspects of the trip and are definitely interesting experiences for those who haven't seen each of the two cities before. All in all this is a wonderful opportunity for all involved!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed