Experience the Real China as a Volunteer Teacher

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About

Join Global Volunteers in China to teach children and teachers English - for one to three weeks! This unique and meaningful experience lets you discover the fascinating nation of China, which makes up one-fifth of the global population. Volunteers will help with the educational growth of communities in the Xi'an and Kunming area through a variety of volunteer projects focused on teaching English. This system is meant to give you personal insight to life in China through specific volunteer work.

Picture coming to a classroom each day and being greeted by students standing, ready and enthusiastic to participate in your English lessons and practice sessions. After class, you and your students can shop, visit local attractions, or attend musical shows. Global Volunteers and local Chinese partners assist volunteers to ensure premium education for students. This allows us to give participants an extraordinary chance to volunteer and have an authentic experience.

Highlights
  • Complete immersion in Chinese culture.
  • Work with Chinese people to support English language learning and exposure.
  • All logistics (except for international airfare) arranged by our staff, so you can focus on volunteering.
  • Global Volunteers' policy: safety trumps everything. Volunteers are well taken care of by their Team Leader while on a service program.
  • Discover ancient cultures of China.

Impact

We respond to the requests of over 70 educational institutions in Xi’an, Shaanxi provinces – for native English speakers to teach conversational skills in Chinese classrooms. Work in lively school classrooms or in small “camp” groups. On these programs, you can help Chinese learners prepare for work in the global community. You can help teach adult students conversational English as they prepare for work in the global community where knowledge of English is essential. The great demand for assistance of Global Volunteers with this important work is demonstrated by the fact that we have been invited to hundreds of schools here since 1996.
Most students at these schools have never spoken with a native English speaker and are thrilled to have a chance to practice what they have learned with volunteers. Many students who have been taught by volunteers are now English teachers, interpreters, or work in other jobs where they are able to use their English with more self-confidence. No special skills are required of English-teaching volunteers. Simply talking about the American lifestyle and culture will prompt students to interact, question, and practice their speaking ability.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.83 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • Impact 9.7
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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Robert
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Volunteers Xi'an

Over the course of 3 weeks we visited several schools and multiple classrooms in each school, all teaching English. The youngest students were grade 7 and the oldest were university graduate students. I had the opportunity to interact with about 1600 students, so, while deep interactions were not common, our team was able to have a huge impact in giving students an opportunity to interact with a native English speaker, and to receive a message of people to people friendship. While the classes were fun and the students were incredibly welcoming, the real enthusiasm and meaningful interactions often took place right after a class when they were freed from the formality of the classroom. This program was an extraordinary experience.

I would note that, while this program is expensive for the volunteer, participants often learned that we were not only unpaid for our work, but we covered all the costs of our participation in the program. This was meaningful to them and, I felt, contributed to their deepened appreciation of the program.

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

Volunteering with Global Volunteers in Xi'an, China

My husband and I recently returned from two weeks volunteering with Global Volunteers in Xi'an China and I would like to share with anyone interested in volunteering in China that this is an excellent program if you are interested in interacting with the Chinese people. During our stay we were able to work with excellent Chinese English teachers/professors and very motivated students. We were able to work in different universities, all of which were welcoming and pleased that we were able to work with their teachers and students. In addition to volunteering, on the weekend we were able to experience the historic and vibrant city of Xi'an, which should be on every "must do" list for tourists. This was an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

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Shirley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Two weeks teaching at Yellow River Primary, Boarding and Day schools

Sara and I prepared for teaching in Xian by: a) reading up on China; b)meeting with a former Chinese mother I'd helped learn English for tips on Chinese; and c) cruising up the Yangtze to Chunging for the week before we were to start. We'd never traveled so far before starting our tasks, but we knew that two older ladies in their 70's needed to be a bit rested in order to be at their best.
Our interaction with Chinese travelers and then our Chinese hosts was delightful in every way. Our 'tutor' had told us not to be surprised if people just stared. So we smiled back. Those who spoke a bit of English were eager to try and chat, which can be done in words, gestures and smiles.
Global Volunteers always has program leaders to help you find your way. All nine of us stayed at the Holiday Inn across from the Old City gates of Xian. We had various assignments ... some with teenagers; others with elementary students. We had ample time to plan, but for me, it was a challenge because I'm used to secondary students. My first assignment was Grade One (7 year olds, 50 of them sitting at small desks on small stools, packed together like sardines.
My theme for the week: the Human Body. Each class was 50 minutes long. The teacher, Miss Lily, said she'd never taught English before, so was interested in my techniques.
So, we did 50 minutes of song and games. By the end of the week, I also drew figures on the board and had them label them in English. 'Head and shoulders, knees and toes,'... I'm sure you've sung the song and know the movements. I found the second verse ... and there's even a third verse, which was new to me. But the children did learn English names for major body parts. Five could come up to the front of the room and demonstrate the song; then have the class join in.
Actually, the Body lesson plan was usable for second and third grade as a review. After the first day, we received a schedule of the classes for each day, so we could plan and prepare. Teachers in the older classes used us as native speakers. I've always wondered what Miss Lilly did the following week.
Sara found a sixth grader with such proficient English that he lectured her about our Civil War. He was a history buff and read voraciously.
Each day was an adventure with attentive, well behaved students and friendly teachers. The food was fabulous. We wandered through many shops in the neighborhood near the hotel, and managed to visit museums like Shaanxi History Museum, Hu'Xian Peasant Exhibition Hall where we met artist, Li Finglan. All nine of us taught Sunday morning for a trip to the famous Terracotta Army, 221-206 B.C. in the afternoon.
I love traveling as a Global Volunteer. You get to meet and interact with real people, and make new friends, always feeling safe.

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

Conversational English, Kunming, Yunnan, China

The purpose of this volunteer program in Kunming, Yunnan Province, is to help Chinese teachers of English with their spoken English. The teachers come from elementary and middle schools in Kunming and the surrounding counties. They range from young new teachers to experienced teachers who have taught for many years. For many of these teachers the conversations they have with us are their first extended experience with native speakers of English. Our job is not to teach English (most of them know English grammar better than we do), it is to encourage them to speak and feel comfortable with spoken English.

The classes are held on a college campus where we spend two or three weeks, two volunteers with each class of 15 -18 teachers. We talk, discuss current events, play word games, sing, dance, go out to lunch, and generally have a good time. After a day or two of shyness, their natural curiosity, humor and enthusiasm start to show through and the conversation and play become very animated.

We volunteers are housed in a very nice business class hotel, a short van ride from the campus. All logistics (meals, transportation, etc.) are taken care of by our Global Volunteers leader who lives with us in the hotel. The meals are great (Chinese of course, except there's an omelet station at the hotel's breakfast buffet) sometimes at the hotel, sometimes at local restaurants.

My wife and I have volunteered in China with Global Volunteers five times. Once we took our teen-aged grandchildren who were full fledged members of the volunteer team. We are planning our sixth trip for 2012 – hope to meet you then!

Default avatar
Nancy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Bringing Teachers New Skills Has a Broad Impact

The program at the teachers college in Kunming is well run; I have volunteered for three summers, and plan to go again. Using Global Volunteers' philosophy, developed over more than 25 years, teams of two volunteers guide 12 to 15 Chinese teachers of English in increasing their conversation skills. We decide on the curriculum, which may include games and songs and folk dances that the teachers can then teach their students. Although some have taught English for years, they may not have not heard a native speaker in person; they are eager for new ideas that will encourage their students to learn English, which is now required in Chinese schools, beginning in kindergarten.

A plus to teaching in Kunming is the weather. At 6,200 feet, this "city of eternal spring" is pleasant in the summer. Our hotel is comfortable, and the food, while quite different from what we're used to, is a tasty adventure.

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Teri
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Conversational English, Xi'an, China

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.

Teri Calvin
Surprise, Arizona