The 5 W’s

Originally published on on August 1st, 2015.

Who? Me! (along with around 30 other American volunteers)

What? I will be a Volunteer English Teacher with WorldTeach, a non-profit organization that sends volunteers worldwide. I am participating in their China Year program, which sends volunteers to Hunan province. Volunteers are distributed amongst Changsha, smaller surrounding cities, and even in the countryside.

Where? Changsha, which is the capital city of the Hunan province. It is said to be a relatively small Chinese city of around 7 million people. Specifically, I will be teaching at the Changsha Foreign Language School.

When? From today (yikes!) August 1, 2015, through July 2016.

Why? As the end of my last college semester rolled around, I found myself without a job and without any clear idea about what industry to even begin to look into. Having grown up abroad for 18 years, I felt that going back overseas would be most fitting for me. I had heard of two exciting international opportunities in Hong Kong and Bangladesh, but as a 22-year old fresh out of college who would be living by themself in a new city, I worried about the potential loneliness and isolation I could face without a social support system. I tried to come to terms with the fact that perhaps international living wouldn’t be in my immediate future, and that I would end up in New York, Boston, or Washington DC like many of my peers. With 45 pages of writing left to do in my last week of college, I allowed myself to postpone the job search and buckle down on my final assignments.

Fast forward to Commencement weekend. I had heard of WorldTeach in the preceding few weeks, but had mentally given up on the opportunity because the deadline fell right before Commencement and I felt there was no way I could complete the application on time. WorldTeach seemed like the perfect post-grad gap year opportunity for me. It would utilize my 6+ years of Chinese Mandarin study, my passion for travel, and love for teaching kids. However just a few days later, WorldTeach magically sent out an email explaining that they had extended the application deadline for their China year program, and that all those interested should contact the organization directly. I graduated on a Sunday, got home on the following Wednesday, and was accepted to the program on Friday. For not actually having graduated with post-grad plans, this turned out great! So here I am, about a half hour away from departing for Tokyo Haneda Airport to board my flight to Changsha. Stay tuned to hear about my first few days in China!

The ideas and thoughts expressed in this blog are not the views or opinions of World Teach, the United States of America, or the People’s Republic of China, but rather my own personal views and opinion.

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