WorldTeach China Global Leadership Year

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About

As a member of our China Global Leadership cohort, you will live in and experience a country that makes up 20 percent of the world's population and is on the brink of becoming the world's largest economy. What does this mean for the future of global trade and the global workplace? In what ways does China's modernization impact Chinese society, overall, and its next generation of entrepreneurs, teachers, and professionals? How are traditional norms being impacted during this period of rapid industrialization and urbanization? These questions will be among those posed and explored during your fellowship. While serving as a full time teacher in a local school in Hunan Province, China volunteers will develop highly coveted 21st century skills, Chinese cultural expertise, and a basic understanding of Mandarin, making them more competitive in the global marketplace.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.24 Rating
based on 17 reviews
  • Benefits 9.2
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9
  • Facilities 9.2
  • Safety 9.8
  • Instruction 7
  • Support 7.2
  • Value 7.6
  • Academic Rigor 7.4
  • Job Assistance 6.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 17
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Lori
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

NiHao China!

My year spend teaching English in a Chinese middle school was full of so many amazing challenges and experiences. It was such a unique experience in such a beautiful country. The students I taught were kind and so fun to get to know. The food and culture was a great experience. The travelling I did while I was in China was definitely a highlight to my year. One of my favorite memories was spending a Lantern festival with several of my Senior students and getting to know them better outside of school! The kids work so hard in school, it was great to get to know them better and have fun with them!

What would you improve about this program?
This program has an excellent orientation service program, however I feel like it needed to include more hands on instruction on teaching high school students with very limited English speaking skills.
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Megan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A great year!

WorldTeach is good at helping with the visa process, which is great because it’s complicated to get a Z visa (work visa). They provide a good orientation at the start of the program and TEFL certification. There’s someone in country there to support volunteers. For my year, the program was called China Global Education Fellowship and we were placed in different cities and towns in Hunan province. You can choose if you want to be in a city or a more rural area. I chose city, so I was placed in ZhuZhou, a small million of a few million. I teach oral English at Nanfang High School (Nanfang zhong xue). Some volunteers teach at high school’s and others at middle schools. The contract is for 16 hours of teaching a week. My school has two English clubs, called English Corners in China, and some don’t have them. You can start one if you want. Classes are pretty large, so English Corners are one way to talk with students in small groups. You get a stipend of 3,000 RMB/month, which is about what Chinese teachers make. I’ve has such a great experience, that I’m staying for another year!

What would you improve about this program?
It would be great if WorldTecah could offer more scholarship opportunities for grad schools, etc.
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Christa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

WorldTeach China 2008

My experience with WorldTeach China was by far the most influential travel experience in my life. I consider myself a globetrotter, but the time I spent in China was something that I have yet to be able to replicate.

Being able to live as a local and also be able to contribute to the local community by having the opportunity to teach made it an extremely beneficial experience that still stick with me 10 years later. The bond I made with the local teachers and students is something I look back on with fond memories.

The program also was designed in a way that I was able to go into this experience feeling safe and well prepared. I always knew I had the WorldTeach staff to support me during my time there. To anyone who is considering volunteering abroad, but is a little intimidated by such a big commitment, I highly recommend WorldTeach! They will be with you every step of the process!

What would you improve about this program?
This program is always improving! I have watched it progress a lot in the past 10 years!
Abbey
6/10
Yes, I recommend this program

WorldTeach

I went to rural China, and had a fantastic time. I was 22 and very frustrated with the world. I went to rural China and got some very serious perspective. This experience softened me and I will be forever grateful for it. The food was amazing and the trips we took hiking were great. I had exceptional support from our WorldTeach contact, and saw incredible places. I do wish I would have had the chance to spend more time with the kiddos, but moving from school to school was the nature of the job.

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Griffin
3/10
No, I don't recommend this program

We were mislead and poorly supported

When I first became interested in sacrificing a year to work in underserved communities overseas I heard great things about WorldTeach and decided to apply. The staff in Boston were incredibly polite and assisted me greatly in preparing the necessary paperwork to travel and teach ESL in Hunan, China. Upon arrival though it quickly became apparent that further supports were limited and the schools we were told we were helping appeared to be given a raw deal. We were supplied no teacher-made lesson plans throughout our year of service, severely under-compensated when it comes to a stipend, and expected to hand over all of our intellectual property while receiving no feedback whatsoever.

The issue that I and other "volunteers" had the most difficulty with was the fact that it appeared that none of our schools knew that we had volunteered our time and were being so poorly compensated. This made sense once I discovered that all of the schools were paying a premium fee to have us as teachers (more money than they would pay a non-volunteer teacher from an agency) and were told that our travel expenses among others were covered by said fee in their contract even though that was not the case. I believe the program cost for the schools was the same regardless of whether the school was urban or rural. Furthermore, many of the schools were not in the least bit "underserved" as the pre-departure and online WorldTeach literature had us believe, and in fact some "volunteers" were working alongside fellow foreign teachers hired by the school who were paid double what our stipend was for less work and limited oversight. This last fact made rationalizing our service and sacrifice nearly impossible. A majority of WT volunteers needed to find extra jobs after work or on the weekends just to make ends meet because we received the lowest stipend allowed by US law so that WT could maintain its nonprofit status.

The program has now changed (along with the WT website and online descriptions 3 times in the last 2 years) to be a "China Fellowship". We were not told of the change in the programs name or new focus while we were serving as volunteers. I believe the new "China Fellows" will be doing essentially the same thing past volunteers had been doing.

Essentially, in my opinion WT is acting as a regular ESL teacher agency with stricter rules for its ESL teachers and not an altruistic entity connecting decent people with underserved communities in China. If it is your desire to work in impoverished or needy schools in China I encourage you to find a legitimate agency to work with or find a school and negotiate your own contract.

I can not speak to the other locations that WT works with/in. I do know that China is awfully unique in its ESL programs and schools so I don't extend my poor experience unto the other programs. But after a year of dealing with WorldTeach I would not feel comfortable suggesting this opportunity to others because it simply is not worth your time and sacrifice, nor the time and money of the school you hope to support. There are better options for you if you want to teach English in China.

P.S. Teaching in China was fantastic and I loved my school, students, and community. I would recommend the job to any decent, hardworking, and caring individual. I was just upset to discover the volunteers' altruism was taken advantage of.

What would you improve about this program?
There is a huge need for greater transparency, communication, and teaching support between the home office in Boston and the teachers in China. Program information needs to be updated (although the program has now changed in name and purpose). We need to be supplied with tried and true lesson plans considering volunteer teachers have been forced to submit theirs for the last few years under penalty of withholding pay only to have the plans never seen again. Our first month of "training" focused almost exclusively on the theory behind teaching ESL, and there was very little emphasis on the practice. Also, the underserved schools we are working in are paying far too much money to employ a "volunteer" and they should better understand the nature and intentions of the WT program for the benefit of themselves as well as to the benefit of the volunteer/s they receive.
Response from WorldTeach

Dear Griffin,

Thank you for your feedback. As you are aware, we offer many opportunities for feedback throughout the program and we appreciate your concerns. This opportunity to provide feedback extends to the Executive Director, whom you spoke with personally. We thoughtfully and directly responded to your misconceptions and concerns back in June 2017, at which time you expressed gratitude for our transparency and support. There are many different considerations that must be taken into account when planning and executing an international program, including but not limited to cultural context, volunteer experience, and governmental and policy limitations. We pride ourselves on running quality programs that successfully navigate all of these factors. We wish you all the best in the future, and please contact us directly with further questions.

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Nada
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

China was an experience!

China was an experience like no other!! It really brought to light a lot about who I am as a person and helped to clarify more about my career goals. So in that way, it really helped me "find out more about myself". I also grew in independence and resilience. The World Teach staff and support were stellar! They provided us with 3 weeks of teaching training and a practicum. We were also taught about culture & food. The other volunteers in the program were also a great part of the experience. Seeing them during the mid and end of year trainings was like going home to see family in a way. I really feel like the year went by too fast! Oh, and my students were ADORABLE! At the same time, keep in mind that Chinese winters are depressing. There is very little sun light and it gets really cold. Also, the pollution goes up, so please invest in a face mask and air filter for your home. Its not a two week study abroad in Rome, its difficult and challenging, but extremely rewarding!! Good luck!!

What would you improve about this program?
No need.
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Suzanne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A life changing experience.

Coming to China with World Teach was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The field director and assistant director provided useful training, and support second to none. They take our welfare seriously and are always there for issues that arise and guidance. The middle school were, I was placed, was very welcoming and provided a fully furnished apartment, located 5 minutes from the school. The liaison I got is a wonderful friend and very helpful navigating me through the language issues. The students are amazing and dedicated to their studies. It's good to see the changes in confidence they have gained these past 8 months, which makes me wish I could stay longer. One of the things I wish I had paid more attention to was not to bring so much clothing, because the shopping here is amazing. One thing I would have liked to have brought with me are Index cards, and board games. Other then that, you can get everything else here.

What would you improve about this program?
If I could change one thing it would be the length of time. 11 months is not enough time, just as you get the hang of things, it time to leave. It would be great if the time could be extended.
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Cindy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great way to live abroad and learn about China

I was one of three WorldTeachers at my very rural school and taught 15 classes per week - different students in every class. At my school, these classes were not really formal English language/grammar classes, but were instead just to get students excited about learning English, so we sang a lot of songs, played a lot of games, and generally just tried to spend the hour with as much communication practice and fun as possible. When I wasn't teaching, I was free to do whatever I wanted, so I picked up a couple of new hobbies like the guitar, tutored a few students, trained for my first marathon, and spent a lot of time studying Chinese. Weekends and holidays we could travel, so I visited a lot of other volunteers in their sites, and spent long vacations visiting other parts of the country, including big trips to Tibet, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang. Our stipends were enough to live on in our towns and enjoy luxuries like massages and eating out a lot and some weekend travel, but not enough to cover big vacations, so expect to use some savings if you want to be able to take cool trips. WorldTeach gave us a lot of freedom and the staff were there if we needed them but not constantly monitoring what we did (in contrast with Peace Corps, for example), which was nice - as long as we fulfilled our obligations at our schools, we could travel as much as we wanted and pretty much take care of ourselves. There were about 60 volunteers in the program when i did it, which was nice because we had an instant network of friends and support, and we often got together on weekends and for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many of the people in my program are still some of my closest friends, even ten years after we finished the program. Overall, it was a fantastic experience for me, but as always, it depends on your attitude and what you make of it, because it definitely wasn't without its daily frustrations and challenges.

What would you improve about this program?
I had the feeling that the field directors didn't really know how to handle situations where volunteers were drinking a little too heavily, and we had a handful of those volunteers who went a little crazy and did a lot of drinking. I don't know how to prevent that, but maybe the field directors could have some training on how to deal with substance abuse overseas or something.