American College Student Improves Mandarin and Completes Month Long Teaching Project in China through CrossContinental.org
International Volunteer from New York Recounts His Unique Experience Volunteering Abroad with CrossContinental.org.
Volunteering abroad offers great opportunities for both personal and professional growth. Aaron Barnes from New York wanted to volunteer abroad in China not only to help, but also to learn Mandarin and immerse himself in Chinese culture. After a great deal of research, he opted to do a month long teaching project through CrossContinental.org, which offers various international internships and volunteer projects abroad.
Aaron’s project was located in the mountain city of Chengde, Hebei province. Chengde is conveniently located only about 2 hour drive from the capital city Beijing. As one of the most famous historic and cultural cities in the nation, Chengde has incredible scenery and world cultural heritage sites. In the attached video (http://youtu.be/pVuxRhNe66Y), Aaron talks about his experience in China and showcases his volunteer experience in action.
Enhancing his Mandarin was one of Aaron’s priorities on the trip. “I’m really glad that I came here. It’s really improved my Chinese speaking abilities,” said Aaron.
Staying with a local family definitely sped up the language learning process even more, as demonstrated by Aaron’s statement “I’m staying with a Chinese family and they have been more than accommodative to everything I need. They are very sweet and kind. I try and talk to them at night all the time using a dictionary. It’s a lot of fun.”
Throughout Aaron’s stay, full local support was provided to ensure his well-being and safety. Speaking on that topic, Aaron reported, “I was extremely happy with everything given to me, the food was great and I never felt like I didn’t have something that I needed.”
After a month of teaching kindergarten kids and middle school students, Aaron found teaching to be tremendously rewarding. When asked about his overall experience, Aaron said, “I was extremely happy. The most rewarding experience was being able to form a bond with my kids and actually find out that I enjoy teaching. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.”
After the program’s completion, when Aaron was asked if he would recommend the program to others, he exclaimed, “Absolutely! Cross-Continental is a great program with great people. When I was having trouble obtaining my visa, Jen went out of her way to help me secure it. The staff at Cross-Continental were always in contact with me and made me feel very safe. I never felt hungry or bored. It was a great time indeed and I would highly recommend them.” Aaron also said that he would be happy to share his experience with potential volunteers seeking to speak with a past participant.
Access free resources or plan a life-changing trip at http://www.CrossContinental.org.
Cross-Continental Solutions provides affordable yet flexible international learning programs, including volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. A large variety of work placement options are available such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Microfinance, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By living and working side by side with locals, participants gain an exceptional cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to truly make a difference. For more details, visit CrossContinental.org.