So far, I have gained a lot of self confidence from the ImmerQi program, not to mention met some amazing people and generally just having a great time. ImmerQi provided me with a lot of support to... Fiona Boyle
Awesome time in Chengdu, Sichuan
Submitted by CP - Melbourne | September 10, 2015
I was incredibly fortunate to teach in Chengdu, Sichuan. I was placed in a college just on the boarder of the city.
My living arrangements were phenomenal – bigger than my city unit back in Australia – I had three separate rooms, one my living/dining/lounge/kitchen area, an enormous bedroom with a study and a separate bathroom. I was lucky that everything was modern and extremely clean.
I did my training in Beijing with the program ImmerQi provided; the instructors were high quality professionals (I could be biased, they were Australian), and I had no qualms trusting what and how I was taught.
I was always looked after and the ImmerQi leaders were easy to contact and always responded. I was never concerned that I could not find my way around China.
I also met some amazing friends! The one month of intense study really bonded the group and it was perhaps equally as significant as the 4-5 months that followed in my placement! We’re all in contact over Instagram and Facebook – and in about a month’s time – I’ll be having one of my roommates in Beijing visiting from Sweden (with one another promising to come)!!
Although it felt like one of the most challenging times in my life (culture shock is a real thing), it was so amazing and definitely something worth going through! Not everyone gets the same placement, so everyone’s experience is unique, but my time in Chengdu was unbeatable.
Submitted by DC - Beijing | September 08, 2015
Most definitely the best choice of my life so far! Coming to China was a fairly spontaneous decision for me, made after a night in with Google and some whiskey. Three months and a 15-hour plane journey later, I woke up in Beijing!
The training month in Beijing was so much fun. So many cool people, so many great places, so much delicious food and so many surreal experiences (a friend of mine actually ended up in a lawnmower commercial). Even though I’d taught in the UK before, the TEFL training was still really helpful and full of practical ideas. ImmerQi staff were really great at helping us all settle into our new lives in Asia, acquainting us with all the customs, traditions and things to expect in China - very friendly and full of advice!
After training, I was loaded into a cannon and fired off to a city called Suzhou, (about 100km from Shanghai), to teach in a primary school of about 2,500 students. Teaching there was a joy and the pupils were genuinely excited to be part of the lessons and learn English. The school staff were welcoming and infinitely kind, always including me and inviting me out. I would have been happy anywhere, but ended up loving the city and exploring it with the two other interns I shared an apartment with.
ImmerQi was really supportive for the whole six months, visiting and keeping in touch, either just to check-in and see how I was getting on, or to help sort out any issues that cropped up. I’m not entirely sure what I would have done if it wasn’t for the Teach & Travel China program, but I’m entirely sure it wouldn’t have been half as amazing.
If you’re interested in getting to know ‘real China’, teaching English abroad or just fancy a break from the norm, this program is for you!
Submitted by Chris - Tianjin | September 02, 2015
I had a great time on this trip and met loads of awesome people and had lots of good experiences. This trip eased me into China and helped me to find a career in teaching abroad!! Without the help and the of Immerqi I don't think I would have felt safe being and living in China, they were always there when I needed them and when I wanted some help.
Put this as No. 1 on your Bucket List!
Submitted by Vivian Conway - Beijing | August 22, 2015
Shuffle your Bucket List and put this program in first place if you want to broaden your horizons!
The program is an excellent opportunity to experience a different country and culture in the sure knowledge that someone is there to offer you local support and assistance... from visa support to teaching tips to weather warnings! My ImmerQi advisor, Duncan, took every step with us and once placed at the school, regularly contacted us to make sure that everything was still running smoothly.
My partner and I were placed at the same school and found the school to be very accommodating. The Chinese teachers are friendly and helpful and the kids are open and receptive to learning English ... no matter the accent!
In terms of China as a whole. I often comment on the random beauty in a country that is notorious for rigid, greater collective thinking. The most mundane everyday items are sometimes the most beautiful and ornamental. The people are not wreathed in smiles all day long or conventionally friendly as understood in a Western context, but are considerate of others, kind and helpful. It is a land of contrasts, efficiency juxtaposed against sleeping during lunchtime, poverty and plenty.
A very worthwhile adventure!
Life changing experience
Submitted by Claire Harley - Swindon | August 17, 2015
I do not regret coming on this internship. It has changed me in many ways. It has helped me to learn so much about myself and opened so many more doors for me. I came on this internship not knowing where I was heading in life, I now have a purpose and goal that I aim to achieve. I made many friends, both Chinese and Western. I am truly happy I came across this opportunity and would recommend it to anyone who loves children and are interested in traveling and teaching.
Ended staying for a year!
Submitted by Garry Hudson - | July 15, 2015
I joined this programme initially for one semester but ended up staying for the full year. The support received by the team in Beijing was second to none. The school they placed me in was excellent, the facilities and help provided really made my stay in China an enjoyable one. Right from the beginning I found the service provided first rate, the week long orientation helped me to settle in and prepared me for everything very well. Throughout my stay TTC were on hand to help deal with any problems or even just to advise me what to see when travelling!
I would highly recommend this programme to anyone wishing to start their TEFL career, whether they plan on staying in China long term or just using it to gain experience. As for teaching and living in China, it was the best move I ever made. After the initial culture shock I settled into life very quickly, the people are warm and friendly and with all the holidays through the year there was ample time to travel and see all the wonderful sights the country has to offer. The added bonus of doing this TTC programme is of course that you are never truly alone, and you will meet many new friends, most of whom I am still in touch with now.
Go on, take the leap, I promise you will not regret it!!
Gave me an awesome experience
Submitted by Peter Davis - | July 15, 2015
Teach and Travel China (TTC) gave me the opportunity to have an awesome experience and one that I found unique and intriguing. I was in North East China, which I knew nothing about and i enjoyed it immensely. I made great (lifelong) friends who I will stay in touch with for the rest of my life. I taught Senior High, really cool, when you have 50 kids re-enacting 'Robin Hood' you know you have a great job!
You have to see the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and (if you are luck enough to be here at the time) the Harbin Ice Festival! Once in a lifetime sights! 100% recommend it as a great introduction into China.
Incredibly well detailed
Submitted by Steph Rigg - | July 15, 2015
I travelled to China at the start of 2010 not really knowing much about china and more than a bit panicked over what i was going to do when i got there. However there was nothing to be worried about at all, from the outset ImmerQi did everything in their power to make our stay as brilliant as possible. Any worries you had or problems you could just tell them and it would be almost instantly sorted out. The TEFL qualification we gained gave us the ability to deal with any problems we encountered in the classroom, and for only a months worth of training was incredibly well detailed.
I've now had two teaching intern placements and have had no problems with them. Each placement has been amazing and the program itself has not only given me a chance to see China, but also meet some amazing people who are now friends for life.
I would definitely say to anyone who was unsure to just go for it, there is nothing to worry about and you really will have the time of your lives.
Be open-minded as possible
Submitted by Fiona Boyle - | July 15, 2015
So far, I have gained a lot of self confidence from the ImmerQi program, not to mention met some amazing people and generally just having a great time. ImmerQi provided me with a lot of support to make it as problem-free and enjoyable as possible.
After being here a while, I now know that it really takes a lot to get things running smoothly in China and I would have been completely lost without them! The teaching is great; I have learnt a lot more about working with young people, meeting and moulding to the culture here.
My biggest piece of advice is to keep your mind as open as possible, and be ready for knocks and shocks because you will get them. But, at the end of the day, they make the experience all the more interesting, and it definitely makes for brilliant stories back at home. Be patient with the culture and the people here, they are more helpful than necessary sometimes, but they always mean well and are amazing fun if you go with the flow.
Submitted by Amanda Smailes - | July 15, 2015
After feeling a little bored with my usual life back home, I came across the ImmerQi and was automatically intrigued by what I saw. Feeling a little apprehensive and nervous I booked the TEFL course and began my journey.
The on-line course was intense, but brought me back to my school days and also refreshed my knowledge. Now using that knowledge here in China to teach these wonderful children was worth all the hours I put in.
The feeling of satisfaction when a child in the classroom gives you that look of totally understanding what you are telling them is very fulfilling. It can be tough sometimes but it wouldn't be a worthwhile challenge if it was too easy.
China in itself is a crazy but wonderful and beautiful country. I have had the pleasure of visiting some wonderful cities and meeting some wonderful people. All the people here are very friendly and they make the experience even more special. Being stared at is not uncommon and the constant Hello's to strangers will leave you parched.
The ImmerQi staff have been amazing and are always on hand for any issues or questions I have had. I have made some lifelong friends here whom I met during the orientation week in Beijing. Being here now has made me realise there was nothing to be afraid of and I know after this amazing journey I will never be that afraid of anything again. If you're considering doing it, stop considering and get it booked!
Indescribably exciting...so I came back!
Submitted by James Joyce - | July 15, 2015
I originally came to China in 2008, the Olympic year. Along with the usual attraction of the Far East it also promised something unique. It was the coming out party for one of the world's largest and least understood nations, it was indescribably exciting and there was a palpable atmosphere, to me at least. Beijing was the place to be! (I taught at a middle school in a village just outside of Beijing and was fortunate enough to have a timetable that allowed me to have long weekends off. I made the most of it. Trips near and far, trains and planes filled the months leading up to Christmas. For me the teaching was good, but seeing China was great. North, South, East and West, all had a different delight to offer. Each left me wanting to explore that little bit more. It was like having Europe, Africa or the Americas as my canvas, China is so vast and there is so much to see I wanted to see it all in one go but sadly time did not allow. (After spending New Year in Hong Kong, I returned to England where I went back to a more traditional way of life, a typical 9-5 office job in a bland cubicle of a generic office building situated in a nondescript business park. It became apparent very soon that China had left an impression.
Fashions, customs, social interactions, foods and even restroom facilities and functions are all very different. When visiting a foreign country how much do we really consider about the possibility of this difference. I know for me, what annoyed me at the time, after a week back home only endeared me to the experience and called for me to return. So I did. (Now back in China, I plan to stay at least another year and I am currently working for the company behind the Teach and Travel China program, which first brought me to begin my China adventure in 2008.
Working as a Project Coordinator for the company I now look after and advise participants on a daily basis and help them to overcome and settle into this fascinating and unique country. It's great to be able to now share my own past experiences of life in China with new people each semester as well as creating whole new experiences for myself
The course was pretty intense
Submitted by Niels van de Veen - | July 15, 2015
Through ImmerQi I've had the opportunity to experience China for 8 months. It's been a great time. I've learned a lot about the country and it's people, but also about myself.
In February I did the TEFL-course in Beijing. It was a good opportunity to meet people from all over Europe. The course was pretty intense, but there was enough time to explore the city as well. Visiting the Great Wall, celebrating Chinese New Year, shopping at the silk market, it was all worthwhile.
In my opinion the true China experience didn't start until we were moving to the schools though. I would be teaching at a kindergarten in Fujian province down south and luckily my roommates from Beijing were placed in the same school. Again it was an amazing experience, especially because we were part of Chinese society now.
You can visit as many tourist sites as you want but it will never give you the experience that living and working in China will. As a foreigner you're something special in a good way and the people were all very nice to us. In no time I made lots of friends, foreign as well as Chinese.
Working as a teacher opened my eyes to a lot of things. Especially with small children (I taught 6-7 year old) it takes a lot of energy and creativity. If you're having a bad day it can be a real hassle, but when a lesson works well and the kids are into it, it's very satisfying. I really got attached to the children and the Chinese teachers I worked with were very helpful. In the end I had a really hard time saying goodbye.
One thing about China I really had to get used to was the way they organize things. Long term planning simply doesn't exist. You really need to be flexible. No way will the school tell you things in advance. Also if you need to get something done don't expect them to handle it right away. Staying patient and flexible are traits I got to work on a lot.
All in all it was an amazing experience I will remember the rest of my life. I'm grateful ImmerQi helped us through the first weeks to make the transition a little smoother. I've seen lots of beautiful temples, climbed mountains, trained kung fu with Shaolin monks, competed on a television show, but most important of all I've met many wonderful people and I really hope I can go back one day!
A great way to live and immerse
Submitted by Sasha Peakall - | July 15, 2015
I came to China to do something a bit different, to kill my boredom that was my life back in Australia, to learn about a culture and have some fun teaching English at the same time. Nothing could have prepared me for the amazing, fun, quirky and off beat roller coaster ride living and teaching in China has been.
There's nothing quite like getting a true Chinese food baptism of fire from the school cafeteria serving up some delicious foods, some downright strange foods and some foods I would not bother going back for seconds let alone eating ever again. There's nothing like walking down the school corridors to a chorus of excited Chinese kids screaming Hello at you as if you were some kind of Rock star! There's nothing like miming your way through conversations and realising that it's not important so much what is said but that you're both still smiling or better yet laughing at the language barrier predicament you're both in.
Teaching English in China is not only a great way to fund your travels but also a great way to live and immerse yourself in the Chinese lifestyle. Simply there's nothing quite like the experience you will get living and teaching in China. China is the place to be!
An exciting and adventurous journey
Submitted by Niles Erikson - | July 15, 2015
Travelling in China has proven to be an exciting and adventurous journey, and I was glad to have the Teach & Travel China program there at the beginning to give me an introduction to the Chinese culture.
Not only is China a great place to travel, but it is also a great starting point for anybody who wishes to experience teaching English abroad. In my experience, the school I joined was helpful in providing sufficient housing and the international office was always easy to reach for assistance.
I also liked that I had the freedom to practice different teaching methods in the classroom. The best advice for any new teacher in China is to get involved with your school, keep an open mind, and try to keep a positive attitude with every situation you have to face.
I've met many life-long friends through the program, and it's also been beneficial to have the ImmerQi there to answer all of my questions throughout my stay. Truly is a great way to teach and travel China!
It's all incredible
Submitted by Patrick Bernard - | July 15, 2015
I came to China to get a real image of a country I knew nothing about. I really wanted to avoid the tourist trips in a hurried two week stop off on an oriental tour. Teach & Travel China offered the best way of doing this.
It's really not the China I was expecting, not the Kung Fu Panda scene of idyllic villages and ox drawn karts but mental buses, deep fried Sea Horse and friendly taxi drivers who take the Highway Code as a bit more of a guide. That's not to say the idyllic villages don't exist, you just have to find them. There's so much to explore it's impossible to settle into a routine.
There's this impulse to get out for the weekends and take the train down to Sichuan or Hong Kong. Every province, almost every town has a really distinct feel to it, the good bits and the bad. The people you meet really make the trip too. There's already a plan to go on a train journey around China for a couple of months with some of the people from the program. It's not just the other teachers either. The students at our placement are always friendly and we constantly get cheery shouts of hello or invitations to their houses, out for meals or to join games of basketball.
It's a totally different culture, and it's all incredible. Of course you have to be open-minded, but if you can manage that, the whole experience will be one of the best you will ever have.
Submitted by Seona McKechnie - | July 15, 2015
The TTC staff, as well as being a truly fantastic bunch of people, put themselves out to help you when you have a problem. They are very accommodating and I'm glad I had that support behind me.
My school was incredible and if I could take it home with me, I would! The teachers were extremely friendly and the students are affectionate and inquisitive. Everybody wants to be your friend and learn English from you.
Two students have even told me that I should live in China permanently instead of going home. Living in China certainly tests you sometimes; plans change last minute, often without an explanation; it can be especially frustrating when others shrug everything off saying 'That's China ' but it's just a case of accepting the Chinese way of life and rolling with it. It's a fun ride.
The whole experience has been made of both good and bad parts but when things go wrong, it only adds character and priceless memories. Overall, it has been absolutely amazing. Teaching in China was not what I had intended doing with my gap year, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
Submitted by Austen Toone - | July 15, 2015
Teach and Travel China (TTC) has been the most exceptional experience of my life so far. I went from being a typical 18 year old in Essex, to a kindergarten teacher that the kids love. I have never been happier working and I wake up every morning ready to handle the children (with or without lesson plans).
This experience has set me up for university because I was tackling the challenges of living away from home head on. Although I felt scared and really homesick at the beginning, now I am in love with China and I cannot think of leaving. It's the trip of endless possibilities, just go for it, come here with an open mind and you'll have the experience of a lifetime.
Submitted by Piotr Katny - | July 15, 2015
I was back at home feeling bored and decided I wanted to do something interesting and exciting. China had a lot of appeal to me and the Teach & Travel China program sounded perfect for my situation. When I got here I didn't know what to expect but that anxiety was quickly extinguished.
The ImmerQi staff was incredibly helpful, I met some great friends from both China and overseas and thoroughly enjoyed my placement where I got to teach a bunch of enthusiastic kids.
To properly see another part of the world, experience the culture and its people and considering the skills and memories I got to take away, the program truly was worth every penny I spent.
One of the best decisions I've made!
Submitted by Robbert Cornelissen - | July 15, 2015
China is amazing, but even better if for some time you can really be part of it. I decided to go to China although I wasn't really sure. Looking back it is one of the best decisions I ever made. Comparing different cultures is great, I learned a lot about the eastern cultures and about my own.
I was placed at a kindergarten, and although it wasn't my first choice it was fun every day and I'm still amazed by my students level of English. The students in the kindergarten pick up new English words very quickly and they love having English classes with a foreign teacher. For my classes I used a lot of songs and flash cards to teach them new English.
ImmerQi even helped me with a part-time job so I could teach adults in the evening. I still talk/email every week with people all over the world who I met during my Teach and Travel program, and made friends for life.
I'm not sure I'm going to use my TEFL ever again, but the skills I picked up, the confidence I gained and having it on my CV can only be a good thing.
Submitted by Ellen Lickman - | July 15, 2015
I would recommend TTC to anyone, of any age, who wants to completely change their life for the better, but have the comfort of knowing that someone will be there to look out for them. Moving to a different country can be extremely scary, but TTC made every step easy to understand and were always happy to answer any questions or concerns I had - whether in preparation at home or once arrived in China. My time in China has been one of the biggest adventures of my life and it's thanks to TTC that I feel comfortable enough to take on any challenge I'm faced with.
One amazing experience after another
Submitted by Sonya Moulang - | July 15, 2015
I've been here for 5 months now and it has been one amazing experience after another. From the training in Beijing and the amazing history there to getting to my school and meeting all the kids for the first time, I've been getting involved in the local English corner which has led me to meet some fascinating and helpful people that will offer to be your guide at the many historic sites and cultural attractions where ever you are based. I came to China for the experience to help me get a teaching job back at home and to have a chance to earn money whilst I travel around one of the world s oldest surviving people. TTC has been great for this with plenty of time to go travelling and helpful staff to work out any issues with the school etc.
It hasn't been all great! There have been days when I've just wanted to be back at home in my own bed with some real western food! But you are placed with another intern that will help you get through the hard times. Between my partner and the TTC team everything has been worked out and I am looking forward to future teaching in China!
Congratulations on deciding to join the program because i know you are going to have a wonderful time!!!!
Submitted by Benjamin Crockett - | July 15, 2015
I was placed in the Chengdu area, and it is simply great. The vibe and the people are great, and it is said to be the area with China's most beautiful women! In China, there is something to do everyday, from sightseeing to trying to get understood by the locals. TTC will help you if you have any issues, either with the school or the accommodations, to make sure that you do not have to worry about anything and be able to focus on your lessons. All in all, I've been seduced by the Asian lifestyle and can't see time go by. Thank you TTC!
An incredible experience
Submitted by Lai Nga Lam - | July 15, 2015
The TTC program is an incredible experience, you meet new people, make new friends, discover a new place, but most important of all, you learn new skills.
This program offers a good balance between working and travelling, teaching Chinese students is a tough challenge but a rewarding experience despite all the difficulties. If it was possible I would do this all again, the people you meet on this program, some will be friends for life and others will teach you something new and definitely valuable.
Submitted by Reece Ayers - Undisclosed | July 15, 2015
I should begin by saying that I have enjoyed my experience so much that I have decided to stay on longer and would gladly spend the rest of my days in this wonderful country. It is THAT good, and I shall send most of my thanks to TTC. Without them I would never have had the confidence (let alone the knowledge and know-how) to take a trip half away across the world, leaving everything I knew and loved in the UK. But now I have found new things and people to know and love. The TTC introductory two week period specifically was fantastic. I met countless people and made new friends that are guaranteed to last a life time and fell in love with a country that is overflowing with culture and beauty.
TTC helped me every step of the way, whether it was advice on how to deal with problems at my placement, future opportunities in China or simply where the good bars were! The staff are friendly and professional and will go above and beyond in attempts to make the interns feel more comfortable and secure.
I can't help but imagine what my life would be like had I not applied for the internship. It certainly does not compare!
ToLoveToLive in China!
Submitted by ToLoveToLive - | March 05, 2015
We've been placed in Wuxi in the Jiangsu province of China after spending a week in Beijing completing our practical training. The level of training as provided by i-to-i trainer James was exceptional and the support from ImmerQi was so beneficial. Even on arrival in Wuxi we were met and shown around by very helpful school staff who helped us get orientated and locate the basics. Highly recommend this programme to others.
ImmerQi responded to this review July 09, 2015 at 1:19 AM
Thanks for your lovely comment! We are so glad you enjoyed China and the program, you guys are wonderful teachers and its been a pleasure hearing about your China adventures. Stay in touch!