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Volunteer in China - United Planet - Summer Teaching Program

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The people and all around experience was unique and life changing.

When I left for china I did not expect to have much of a life change and went to have some fun and experience something new, however I believe this quest has transformed the boy I was when I left into a man that I am proud to be.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

A ton of new experiences, and the other kids were great which made it a fun program.

Interacting with the children and seeing how much they valued our presence in their lives even if it was only for a short few weeks was truly amazing. Teaching the kids who did not really want to learn was probably most challenging especially because it was difficult to communicate with them.

We had a ton of great moments on out trip, a few including: making dumplings, which escalated into a flour fight, playing basketball with the locals, and singing songs in the cultural exchange.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Bonding with others from both the U.S. And China

I learned a lot about their culture and loved being with the kids. I most enjoyed seeing sights and the locals houses. It was very interesting to see the difference between American and Chinese life. I also loved seeing the young kids come to school and to see the excitement on their faces to be at school.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The experience...was a huge beneficial factor which boosted my maturity and individuality

Before coming to China, many of my friends provided their insight on their experiences in China. Many said China was dirty, poor and a waste of time. Therefore when I was heading towards China, my expectations were set at an extremely low standard. I had this negative mindset up until I arrived at the school in rural Hunan, China. Before arriving, I already accepted there wasn't a single place in the world that wasn't dirty or poor however I was still pondering on if this trip was going to be a waste of time. Staying in the countryside for three weeks was probably a life changing experience for me. The isolation that I was placed into and independence that I was given gave me the ability to think and act on my own for the first time in my life. From doing daily chores, to taking care of myself without the safety net of my parents and leading a class of young students by myself, I believe that the experience was absolutely not a waste of time rather it was a huge beneficial factor which boosted my maturity and individuality.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

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These last three summers have made me a long term believer.

China summer is an amazing experience. Honestly.
I would not have gone for three consecutive years (and be contemplating a fourth) if it hadn't been worth it. Before these volunteer trips, I had never imagined it possible to grow so close to strangers in another, be it with the other volunteers, the students, or the local villagers. These last three summers have made me a long term believer.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

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  • Community Impact

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It was one of the best times of my life.

I met people on this Quest who I love like best friends, even though we were only together for 3 weeks or so. Both the American and Chinese volunteers are amazing people who I feel blessed to have met. It was really fun doing all of the touristy things in Beijing with the rest of the American volunteers, and we became pretty close even before going to the school. Once we got to the school, we got to meet our kids. They are amazing. I was astounded everyday in class by how fast they picked up new things and how much they already knew. We worked hard in class, but we also had fun. The entire school participated in tickle fights, marker fights, and cake fights. and the kids usually won! They filled all of the teaching days with joy and laughter, and I am so grateful to have been able to teach them. On days when we didn't have class, the volunteers had activities such as hiking and going to the market. Hiking... was a challenge. We made countless runs to the little shop at the bottom of the hill and spent countless hours playing cards, folding origami, and just hanging out. When it was over I cried my eyes out when saying goodbye to everybody. I love them all and I miss them so much. This was one of the best experiences of my life. If you are debating whether or not to do this Quest, do it. You just need to keep an open mind and I promise that you'll have one of the best times of your life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

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I LOVE CHINA SUMMER!

Once again, China Summer has made my summer unforgettable and has made me longing for more!

One aspect of the beauty of this program is that it never fails to let me forget about all the preoccupations that comes with life outside of China Summer. It is a relaxing experience in this sense, yet exciting because all I can think about during China Summer is China Summer! Even though I participated last year, I am still awed by how I could forget about all the things that I would concern myself with at home otherwise. After the trip ends, I am still obsessed with China Summer and cannot stop thinking about how incredible my summer was.

I also loved seeing and experiencing the China Summer program weave it's magic again. How can twenty very different people with twenty different personalities become so close within weeks of meeting each other? The answer is China Summer. What makes the trip so remarkable and memorable are the relationships built with the students, the local residents, and the other volunteers. Each year, I come home with the most pleasant memories I will ever have in my life that I share with the most brilliant and special group of people who I have the fortune of calling my China Summer family. These are my students, teaching partners, roommates, morning buddies, bathroom buddies, committee members, and greatest friends who I cannot even use words to describe how much I cherish. I don't even think the previous sentences were grammatically correct, but it shows how incoherent I become when I try to express my love, admiration, and gratefulness for our China Summer family.

China Summer is refreshing on a very personal and spiritual level as well. Sometimes at home, I feel as though I lose myself from being with the same people all the time, being in the same town all the time, and having the same routine all the time. It gets a bit dull, and I begin to question myself a lot. But when I'm participating in China Summer, I feel as though all my inhibitions slip away. While on the trip, I may have been the happiest I've ever been, and my outlook in general becomes more optimistic and pleasant. Especially after this year's China Summer trip, I came back feeling more confident in myself, who I want to be, and what I want to do. Perhaps I don't know who I want to be or what I want to do precisely down to the exact details, but I do know that China Summer has made me a more cheerful, faithful, and upbeat person, since this program has let me shed insecurities and has made me less embarrassed of just being me.

To this I also owe a huge thanks with presents and chocolate and puppies and unicorns and everything nice in this world to all of my China Summer family! From both years, thank you all for just being there! Your presence made my trip the joyous experience that it was, and I cannot express how grateful I am. Thanks to United Planet and the FeiFeng agency for making this trip possible! I would do it forever if I could. (: China Summer will always be one of few things in my life that I will never EVER regret doing, and an experience that I will never EVER forget and always yearn for in the future as well.

I LOVE CHINA SUMMER!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

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  • Living Situation

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  • Community Impact

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  • Program Administration

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  • Health and Safety

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  • Social Life

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China Summer has been the best summer experience I've ever had

Everything that I experienced on this trip, exceeded all of my expectations. I don't think there was a single moment where I wasn't enjoying myself or experienced boredom. Because of that I feel that China Summer has been the best summer experience I've ever had.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

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  • Social Life

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There is so much more that connects us as fellow human beings

Communication is difficult by nature. It's hard enough to reach understanding with those around you even speaking in your own language, and so it logically follows that achieving comprehension in a language other than your native tongue would be even more arduous. At least, that's what my thoughts were going into my Quest; what I actually experienced revealed how shallow my conception of communication had been. Beyond language, there is so much more that connects us as fellow human beings, and I have the kids of my third grade class, along with my fellow Chinese volunteers from the Feifeng Center to thank for helping me remember that.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

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  • Community Impact

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  • Program Administration

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  • Health and Safety

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  • Social Life

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China Summer was undeniably the best summer experience I’ve ever had

China Summer was undeniably the best summer experience I’ve ever had, from the volunteer work done to the beautiful panoramas seen to the cultural hubs visited. Of course, the experience would’ve been nowhere near as great without the amazing people I had (and have) the fortune to know and love—and whom I now terribly, terribly miss. My brilliant fourth-grade class filled with avid students who could hold their own in tickle fights, marker fights, and cake fights alike. The Chinese volunteers with wicked senses of humor and flattering photo apps and the sweetest personalities ever ever ever. And, of course, my eight fellow American volunteers, who’ve helped me through 110 degree weather without air conditioning and squatting bathroom trenches infested with flies and spiders and worms with much laughter and love and now, tears.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

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  • Living Situation

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  • Community Impact

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  • Health and Safety

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  • Social Life

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This adventure is one that I'll never forget

From the China Summer trip, I enjoyed visiting the cities, despite the countless amount of reckless drivers in the area. I also enjoyed teaching my assigned class certain topics that they and I enjoyed. I found that lecturing in English can be a bit of a struggle, but it's overall a fun experience to try. Outside of the village, I had a hard time bargaining in Silk Street, where all the sellers would try and rip us off. Even though I traveled to China in the past, this adventure is one that I'll never forget.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Very eye-opening for me

I enjoyed being with the other volunteers the most.

I chose this because I spoke the language before going.

My accommodations was a 4 out of 5.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

One of the most amazing experiences I've ever taken part in

Meeting so many amazing people and sharing memorable experiences with them.

I was drawn to the programs and volunteer work.

My accommodations was a 4 out of 5.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

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  • Health and Safety

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  • Social Life

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Building relationships accross the world.

The China Summer program that I was apart of was very eye-opening for me. Not only was it an educational trip, but also a social one. Being put in another country for a few weeks with other volunteers allowed us to become very close with each other. We went to a rural area in China to teach the local children English. Even though I am Chinese and have been to China many times, I've only been to Beijing and other big cities such as Shanghai. However, being in rural China was a completely different experience. I am conversationally fluent in Mandarin, so I taught and communicated with Mandarin. Despite the fact that I was better at the country's language than some other volunteers, we were pretty much in the same boat, because I could not understand the dialect. It was also interesting to see the local people's reaction to my family history. They found it hard to understand that I was of Chinese decent (100% Chinese), yet I called myself American. The kids especially found it confusing. So I explained that my parents immigrated from China because they liked studying English. I hoped that my presence there in that community will impact the future decisions of the locals and the children I taught. I hope that the story of my parent's immigration would inspire them to learn English and open their imaginations to different countries. I don't know how much of the English they will retain, but hopefully they will all remember me and the other volunteers as role models and influential people.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    N/A

  • Program Administration

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  • Health and Safety

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  • Social Life

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One of the greatest experiences of my life.

China summer was definitely one of the most amazing experiences I've ever taken part in. I met so many wonderful people and learned a lot about myself as a person. Before I left I was feeling very apprehensive about going, wondering to myself whether I was ready for something like this and if it was for me. But as soon as I got there and met my fellow volunteers, I forgot about all of my doubts and became focused on and excited for the journey that lay ahead. Teaching the kids was one of my favourite parts of the trip and I don't think I fully understood just how attached to them I would become. Teaching in the beginning was challenging as not knowing where to start and what level the kids were at was difficult. However, it soon became easier and much more relaxed and enjoyable for everyone. Preparing for Earth day and Graduation was especially memorable, seeing all the kids enjoy themselves and put in so much work and effort was great to see. The hardest part of china summer was saying goodbye to the school, to the kids and especially to all the other volunteers, whom I feel I now have an undeniable and special connection with. I feel certain that I will take part in the China summer programme again in the near future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Just do it.

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 adivce is to just do it - you wont' regret it.

Volunteer Experience:
In this program, you teach English to Chinese students in a very rural area. It is fascinating how much you learn about yourself & English as a language by teaching it!

Living Situation:
You live in an elementary school in an extremely rural area. The school that I went to, Jinxi school, had two dorm rooms for female volunteers, so about eight people shared a room. The bathrooms are squatting ones but some have wooden toilet seats for the foreign volunteers who aren't used to squatting. They just finished the shower building so that should be good for next year. Frankly, the living conditions aren't the best - but if you're volunteering to teach in a rural area, you shouldn't expect the best.

There is a basketball court and two ping-pong tables. There are two convenience stores (one on school, one right across from the school) so a lot of foreign volunteers bought sodas and ice cream. There are countless stars at night, and shooting stars are quite common. It is a serene area with a great view of mountains, and you can go swimming in the stream nearby. For those that are concerned, the school does have wi-fi, which was really, really nice.

Community Impact:
You interact with your students and Chinese volunteers every day. Thus, it is a truly great environment for cultural immersion. It's also a great opportunity to learn Chinese, but it's okay if you don't speak any. I spoke barely any Chinese but still interacted and bonded with the volunteers and the students really well.

Program Administration:
United Planet was very organized and reliable. The program coordinator, Anne, is fantastic. You will receive a lot of useful information before you leave, and you'll know exactly what to expect before you arrive.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

This experience has opened my eyes immeasurably to the world

My most memorable experience is being able to take time to travel and see other parts of Ghana besides just the village where I was staying/working.

I choose the program I speak the language.

My accommodations was a 4 out of 5.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

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Summer Program in China

I've said this many times and I'll say it again. Teaching is an amazing experience because you learn so much about yourself while doing it. You also begin to think of the subject matter in a bunch of different ways in order to reach students. In fact, I think participating in the China Summer quest has secured my decision of becoming a teacher. Furthermore, the people you meet are all amazing. They also see the value in working abroad and it's so cool to see their reasons, make friends and hang out.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

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Summer Program in China

It was amazing.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

Showing Us Their World Firsthand

The best part of the trip are the relationships you build. Whether with other volunteers (Chinese and American) or students. I really loved how the younger students trusted us, played with us and showed is their world first hand.