Monthly Archives: May 2014
May 29, 2014
I always knew that I would study abroad; in college I took 2 years of Italian and Italy was my plan. The funny thing about a plan is they tend to change just when you think you have it all figured out. I was a sophomore in college and a new program opened up specifically for my major, the only problem was the location – China. It took me all of 5 minutes to decide to go. I still to this day do not know why I decided to go but that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Moving to a foreign country for 6 months with strangers all around me talking in a language I did not know. Well, I was certainly in for an experience.
I went to places with such history, with stories that have been told for generations and I was getting to learn them. I was lucky enough to live next to a great family that wanted to know more about English and I wanted to learn more about the Chinese culture. Henry, the husband, was a teacher at a local Chinese school and he asked me to come in one day and teach some of the young children about America and the English language. I never thought that this would turn into 6 months of teaching English, but one day turned into the next and I loved it. These kids were so interested in learning every word, meaning and story behind it. They were much younger than me but they taught me so much about myself.
The meaning behind this is that you can never underestimate the people around you, and the lessons they are able to teach you. They taught me that I am capable of taking chances on my own, being disciplined, and hardworking. Although, at first it was difficult to see; I finally realized how positive this experience was not only in their lives but in mine. Teaching requires patience, problem solving, and commitment. Having these qualities imbedded in my everyday life was so beneficial to growing as a person, and realizing what I am truly capable of. As those 6 months passed I was more grateful towards them than they could ever be towards me. I look forward to learning more about myself and finding people around me who can teach me more. Plans change you just have to be able to accept that and realize that the new one may be even better than the one you originally had.