Volunteer Abroad in China with United Planet: Summer Teaching Quest
96% Rating
(5 Reviews)

Volunteer Abroad in China with United Planet: Summer Teaching Quest

Join United Planet this summer on our annual volunteer teaching program in China! This four-week program is designed to introduce and sharing Chinese culture with volunteers from around the world, while at the same time teaching local students English to promote cross-cultural understanding.

Volunteers will arrive in Beijing to spend a few days sightseeing and adjusting to the local environment. From there the group will travel to Haojiping which is a remote area in the Hunan province. The remainder of the trip will be based here allowing volunteers to explore the area and teach local students English.

This program has been running since 2001 with great success. Each group consists of approximately 35 volunteers. For more information please visit the United Planet website.

Locations
Asia » China
Length
2-4 Weeks
Language
Chinese
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
China Summer Teaching 2012 is $2495. The fee includes:

• Extensive pre-departure training from the United Planet head office
• Chinese food (3 meals a day)
• All accommodations
• All transportation within China
• Sightseeing and excursions
• Emergency medical insurance
• Country coordinator support
• Thoroughly researched volunteer project
• Volunteer care and other services
Other Locations
Haojiping

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    82%
  • Support
    88%
  • Fun
    80%
  • Value
    84%
  • Safety
    86%

Program Reviews (5)

Default avatar
Xeng
Male
25 years old
minneapolis, mn
University of Minnesota

China Summer 2016 Review

9/10

We went into a bat cave that was a little nervewracking, would have been nice to have a helmet with a flashlight on there or something of that nature but a ton of fun! Taking risks is the best thing you can do for yourself. I am sure the program will be improved to include more sightseeing or include equipment for a better experience in the cave.

The basketball game with the locals was also fun!

How can this program be improved?

Giving volunteers a bit more freedom and privilege. Access to more rooms and equipment like microphones and music players on the school campus.

Response from United Planet

Thanks so much for your feedback! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your program including creating relationships with the local people and stepping outside of your comfort zone. These are two very important elements of any international service-learning experience. We would love for you to stay involved with United Planet and look forward to speaking with you soon!

Default avatar
Hayley
Female
25 years old
Vermont
University of Vermont

Trip of a lifetime

9/10

It is coming up on a year since my China Summer trip and I still have dreams of returning and still talk with many of the people I met there, including my Chinese students as often as possible - there is a significant time difference. I made lifelong friends, saw the most amazing shooting stars, and have memories that I wouldn't trade for anything. The trip helped me grow and gain so much independence. I feel like I was able to make as much of an impact on my students as they did on me. I can't wait to go back someday!

How can this program be improved?

If our program leader hadn't stayed in Beijing much of the miscommunication could have been avoided.

Response from United Planet

Hayley, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We are glad that you were able to make lifelong friends on your Quest. Fostering meaningful relationships with the local communities is what we really value at United Planet.

Default avatar
Catherine
Female
19 years old
Hopkinton, Massachusetts

My most amazing summers...

10/10

I've participated in China Summer twice, in 2013 and 2014. I can honestly say that those were the best summers of my life.

This program is such a great way to spend the summer, especially if you're in high school. I've learned so much from China Summer, along with forming some of the greatest relationships I've ever formed with the other volunteers, the students, and the local residents. Not only is it an eye-opening experience in a global, economic, and social perspective, but I've also come to embrace my own character with more confidence.

There are three sets of volunteers that participate in this program. The first set would be the American volunteers, who participate through United Planet. Most of us, the American volunteers, were high-schoolers. The second set of volunteers are Chinese college students who apply through the FeiFeng agency, which organizes the program on the Chinese side. The last set of volunteers are a little less visible, in the sense that you wouldn't really recognize their efforts right away. This last set includes the staff from the school where we mostly reside in for the duration of the trip, the parents of the local students who send their children to the program, and any other local residents that support the program. I am so grateful for this last group of volunteers who cooked every meal for us, cleaned and set up the dorms for us, created makeshift toilets for our comfort, and for supporting China Summer!

The United Planet volunteers (who are usually American...my first year, there were two people from the UK) meet in Beijing. We spend a day or two there, and then ride a train to the closest city to the location of the school. It's a small city called Huaihua where we spend the night and meet the Chinese volunteers. The train ride and the days in Beijing are great for bonding between the UP volunteers (: Then, all the volunteers ride a bus up the mountains to finally arrive at the school.

The school is in a rural setting, and the area is less economically fortunate than most of us are used to. The Chinese volunteers are usually from cities as well, and one way my global perspective was changed was realizing how economically diverse China really was. I'd say most of the challenges at first are getting accustomed to the school setting where the bathrooms are in a separate building and are trenches, where there are a wide selection of flying bugs that I've never seen before coming to China Summer, where food selection is also extremely limited and is eaten with chopsticks, where there aren't really showers, and where local residents can only afford to eat twice a day. It sounds bad, but it's really not! Seriously, the close bond between the volunteers made everyone feel at home and helped us get through these challenges with smiles and laughter.

At the school, we accomplish the primary goal of the trip: broadening horizons through interaction and teaching. The students are divided up by grades, and each grade gets a teaching group that consists of both UP and Chinese volunteers. Teaching days require lesson planning, which I would consider personally my biggest challenge. I'm just in high school, and I don't even know proper English myself! Coming up with interesting lessons is hard, but it's fun and I loved my kids (: Although we want the local students to expand their English knowledge, we also want to let them learn about life and the culture outside of their village in the mountains. Most of the people probably will never leave, but hopefully we've opened their eyes to more opportunities and to the lifestyle of different people in America (and sometimes UK or other places where UP volunteers are from) and in other parts of China (from the Chinese volunteers) as well. Additionally, our eyes are opened as well. Sometimes at night, we would go stargazing because the stars in that area were amazingly. I felt extremely small lying in the middle of the basketball court in that school in the mountains in southern, rural China amongst all the stars that were invisible where I lived 7,000 miles away. It makes you think bigger, I suppose.

And about my personal perspective, I've become more confident as myself. I am a very self-conscious person (ask anyone who participated in China Summer 2013 or 2014), but when I'm on the trip, it makes me forget about my insecurities. I was so comfortable with the other volunteers despite being in a foreign setting and in a economic situation that I've never experienced before. Being on this trip made me forget all my concerns at home. I loved forgetting about everything! All I cared about on the trip was anything to do with China Summer. And now, it's all I can think about still.

Kudos to you if you've read up to this point! I could go on and on about this trip, and I'm sorry if this post was lengthy a bit dull. What's important to get out of this is how badly I want to do China Summer again. I love this program to death and it is undeniably the most amazing experience ever! I wasn't expecting anything too mind-blowing my first year because I am Chinese and I've been to Beijing almost every year since second grade. I was completely wrong. I would recommend this to anyone anywhere at anytime, because I have been the happiest I have ever been on this trip. I've made some of the greatest friends, and we share very special memories that can't be truly empathized by anyone else. I love my China Summer family, and I'm so grateful for United Planet for having this program! :)

Default avatar
Yeon
Female
19 years old
Baltimore, Maryland

Just do it.

10/10

The program is fantastic. Yes, it's in a very rural area, and the living conditions and standards are not equal to those at home. However, once you adjust to the school, you'll absolutely love the program. I met some amazing Chinese volunteers as well as foreign ones, and my students were simply fantastic. They spoke better English than I had expected, were attentive, and very welcoming. Many of them talked to me outside of class and I bonded with them even if I didn't speak much Chinese. You could tell that the program really has had an impact on the community, and that you, too, are making an impact as you volunteer in the school.

United Planet was very organized and reliable; the program coordinator was extremely nice; both the foreign and the Chinese volunteers bonded with each other. At night, we would all go out and play Chinese mafia and look at the stars. For the first time in my life I've seen shooting stars, and there are more stars than one can count (not a hyperbole). It's a very serene, quiet environment, but with the students it becomes a very lively and robust. The program is great for anyone that wants to immerse themselves in the Chinese culture and especially those who want to become a teacher. It really is quite life-changing, so if you're thinking about doing it, my advice is to just do it - you wont' regret it.

Response from United Planet

Thank you for your feedback! We love reading about how the program has had such a significant impact on the community, but it would not be possible without the volunteers; so thank you for dedicating your time to these students. It sounds like you had a truly rewarding experience!

Default avatar
mucrew
Male
19 years old
Rockville, Maryland
Other

Amazing time in China

10/10

The teaching was definitely rewarding. Being able to see the understanding and appreciation in the students faces was one of the best things i've ever seen. Just knowing that you have made a difference, no matter what size, in someone's life is really an experience that everyone must have.

Volunteering was great not only because of what I've accomplished, but also how the program changed me. I feel more confident and useful now in my school and life because of the volunteer work. The friendships made were also fantastic. Volunteering with the group that I volunteered with definitely added to the experience, and I know that even after volunteering, we will always be very good friends.
Overall, this was possibly one of the best times I've had in my life and if I had to do it again, I would do it in a heartbeat.

The volunteer work there was much different than anything I have ever experienced, but it was a great chance for me to step out of my comfort zone and I loved it.

About The Provider

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United Planet is an international non-profit organization based in Boston, MA with a mission to enhance cross-cultural understanding while addressing shared challenges to create a community beyond borders, one relationship at a time. We connect volunteers who want to make a difference with communities in

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