I first found out that I was going to be placed in a school in Xinjiang
Uyghur Autonomous Region in the North West of China, I was slightly
anxious I must admit. It looked as if I was going to be in the middle
of nowhere, surrounded by endless mountains and desert! I needn't
have worried though. When i arrived in Changji, a small city close
to the much bigger city Ürümqi, I was pleasantly surprised
to see that the city was as modern as any other city anywhere else
in the world.
Here I was naively thinking that I would have to endure the hardships
of being in a remote area, but the school made sure that we had
a comfortable life. I started out with teaching primary school children.
What a challenge that was for me! I had just graduated and had no
previous experience of children. I feel I have learnt so much from
it though, thanks to the fact that it wasn't easy for me at first.
At the moment I am teaching university level in Ürümqi
and it feels just right. Of course there have been the occasional
problems whilst being here, but thanks to the organisation, I have
never felt alone.
Xinjiang is great for anyone who wants to experience a multitude
of cultures and a plethora of cuisines. The climate is harsh but
this expansive region has a lot to offer any cultural explorer!
I arrived back home a few days ago. I want to thank you so very
much for accepting me on this programme last year. This year in
China has been everything I wanted it to be. I am glad I got to
experience real sunshine after the initial complications. I've been
so lucky to be able to experience true job satisfaction as a teacher,
as my university students showed me so much love and appreciation.
All in all, I'll remember this as a truly amazing time in my life!
I wouldn't mind returning at some point. Will see what the future
brings. I know now that I wish to inspire young people, and although
teaching certainly is one of the ways, I want to use my artistic
skills more to achieve this.
for setting up the wonderful year in the north west of China. Though
it is remote I really enjoyed my time there. Now I am home in Sweden I realise that I
want to be a teacher and am taking steps to becoming one. It was my teaching experience over there
that has given me this new direction.