My year in China, by Rachel Goodwin

I have been in China at Aihua for a year now and I am staying even longer. China was never on the top of my bucket list so I don’t know exactly what made me decide to come. But I am so thankful I did.

Throughout my year here I have learned so much about Chinese culture. Some aspects I find incredibly strange just as they must find some things strange with us. But some things are really interesting and amazing. Things like what a caring culture they are. They always want to talk to you and help. The language is so interesting! I love attempting it. There are so many places to visit here; the great wall, the summer palaces, the forbidden city, the Ming tombs, the list is endless.

Getting around is easy, public transport is extremely efficient. Although I will never get used to trying to get off with a flood of people getting on at the same time!

I really enjoy working here too. The kids are so much fun to work with. The classes are exciting. But not only that, the Chinese staff are fantastic to work with. They are all so kind and helpful. The other foreign teachers are also brilliant. When I first came out I was pretty worried about coming with such a small group of people because let’s be realistic, 50 people isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things. But I literally spend every waking moment with at least one of these 50 people and I absolutely love it!

I love living in the China bubble. It feels like you are disconnected from the rest of the world. Obviously not completely cut off that you can’t speak to friends and family back home but just enough that it makes your world feel very peaceful.

Overall I am so happy with my China experience so far and I am excited for the time to come!

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