I’ve been finalising up my summer plans, aaaaannnnd… (drum roll….) I’M RETURNING TO CHINA! 😀
After spending all of last year studying and interning there, I’m super keen to go back again to catch up with old friends, visit all the places I somehow never got round to visiting, and satisfy my craving for Chinese food! Here’s a rough plan of the summer:
July – Volunteering
After graduation on the 1st July, I’m flying off to Beijing then taking a train to Shijiazhuang – where I’ll be volunteering to teach English at Camford Royal School. This volunteering program is linked to the Chinese Cultural Society at my university and fully funded by the school itself. Although I’ve previously privately tutored students learning English and volunteered as a Classroom Assistant for Maths/ Science classes here in the UK, I’m hoping that this volunteering placement will give me the opportunity to take on more responsibilities, learn to lead lessons and manage a class on my own, and also gain experience with all the admin side of teaching (lesson planning, homework marking, assessments, etc.).
August – China
I then have around five weeks to travel around China (and potentially other nearby countries, such as South Korea or Vietnam – still tbc). I’ve not booked or confirmed any plans yet, all I know is that I’ll be starting in Shijiazhuang and ending in Hong Kong (from where my flight leaves on the 2nd September). There are sooooo many places I’m keen to visit – including Pingyao, Tai Shan, Qingdao, Hua Shan, Chengdu, Chongqing, Luoyang, Zhangjiajie, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and even more. Sadly it will be impossible to fit all these places in – if anyone has any particular recommendations do let me know! I’m hopefully going to persuade some of the other volunteers to join me, although it sounds like most are planning just to stick to the main tourist sites in Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, which I’ve visited before.
September – Australia
After spending most of the summer in China, I’ll then be flying to Australia to spend three weeks on a family holiday – starting in Sydney where we’ll trek in the Blue Mountains, then continuing up to Ainslie Beach for a week sailing around the Great Barrier Reef, before finishing with a week exploring the Atherton Tablelands and Daintree National Park near Cairns.
It’s going to be a jam-packed summer, but really looking forward to it! If anyone has any recommendations or would like to share their experiences in China/ Australia, please do leave a comment below 🙂