Interested in becoming a WorldTeach China volunteer? We recently asked our current teachers why they decided to choose Hunan. Answers varied, but one response was constant: Our volunteers have not regretted their time in China. Read on to see how their experiences have (or have not) matched their expectations.


why china


“I’ve had a longstanding interest in China and knew that, if I wanted to get a better grasp on the contradictions that define it, I needed to live there for an extended time. I was not satisfied, however, with just learning. It was important to me that I also be able to give back and become part of a community, which is what attracted me to teaching. I’m happy to say that, halfway into my tenure in Changsha, my experience has been more meaningful than I could have ever hoped.” – Chris Mirasola


“I already knew I wanted to live abroad, but when I learned that there was a chance to live in China, I was immediately intrigued. China is a really unique and rapidly changing country, and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else right now.” – Alexis Tavares


“I chose to participate in the WorldTeach China program because I wanted to gain experience as a teacher while living in China, a country that I had studied academically but had never lived in for over three months. There are of course a number of ways for Americans to live in China but through the WorldTeach program in Hunan, teachers gain insight into a China that many Westerners miss out on. Through the program, I’ve become friends with many Chinese teachers, I’ve grasped what life is like for the average Chinese high school student, I’ve felt like I’ve made a valuable contribution to my school community, all while making friends with an awesome bunch of foreigners who were equally willing to move to the place that one of my colleagues described as ‘the place where the emperors used to send their enemies to die.’” – Alicia Allen


“I chose to serve with WorldTeach because it is a reputable organization and the staff has been extremely helpful with numerous things. I also decided to volunteer because I had a great childhood and I thought it was good karma to give back to the world community.” – Joshua Filzer


“I chose WT China specifically because I wanted two things: 1) a trial run at teaching English as a second language, since I knew I liked teaching languages, but I was hesitant to completely change my career path and intended graduate study until I could just see what it would be like in the field. 2) In the event that I really liked teaching English as a second language, I wanted a program that would certify me to teach afterwards. For these two reasons the WT China program seemed like a good fit for me, and that is why I chose it.” – Clifford Humphrey


“The benefits of having a support team when things go awry, and the knowledge that you could have only acquired by making mistakes on your own (not to say that you won’t make any) is the reason I joined WorldTeach.” – Ashley Adderley


“I chose to serve with the China WT program because I knew I wanted a program that would help me to coordinate a real-life experience teaching abroad in Asia. I wasn’t just looking for another study abroad experience, but something where I could really be considered an adult, contributing member to a society and learn the skills and have the experience to do so. At this point in my life I want to gain the experience of being a responsible member of a community in a foreign social environment, which I think can help me to navigate the unpredictable obstacles that will come in life; rather in work, society or family and health. I found WorldTeach China to be the perfect balance of the necessary support and orientation needed for entering a totally foreign community and living as an adult and professional there. I hope I have actually inspired some friends in my home community to take part in the various opportunities WorldTeach supplies.” – Adrian Hosler


“I was a practicing attorney for four years and wanted a change. Teaching in China provided not only a change from the day-to-day grind, but also gave me a purpose beyond myself. I’ll never regret my decision to take a year out of my life to teach in China.” – Erik Omar


“I taught public high school for five years before applying to WorldTeach and knew that I loved teaching. I came to China to teach spoken English and also to improve my skills as an educator. The challenges and rewards of this experience have made those goals possible.” – Martha Omar


“I worked for several years in the U.S. for a NGO that did some international work. I chose WorldTeach because I was very impressed with the mission of WorldTeach and how they partner with local organizations to serve communities in need. I wanted to experience living in China first hand and to bring a deeper understanding of the U.S. to my students and people that I would meet in China. I also wanted to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and how people live day-to-day. Being a teacher in rural China has been an amazing and rewarding experience. “ – Jessica Trease


“WorldTeach’s history impressed me as well as its expanse across the globe. Admittedly I was only interested in China but I was impressed with the number of programs it offered… WorldTeach offered support both in-country with field staff and in the home office. So many programs in China offer little-to-no support for their teachers upon their arrival. It was reassuring to know that I would have the support of an organization throughout the year in addition to support in the States should any problems arise… Talking to some WT alumni was also important to me so that I could hear testimonies from people who have done the program as well as ask them questions about their experiences and the program itself… The cost of the program was a factor as well. I didn’t have 5,000 to spend on a volunteer program but because the Hunan Department of Education helps to subsidize this program, it made it more financially possible for me to come to China.” – Becky Nelson, Assistant Field Director


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