Break Dancing and Broken Buses by Natalie Smyth

Three months in and things here are going well. Teaching is a huge part of my daily life and I’ve had some really funny lessons. I try to make my lessons as interactive and involved as possible, the students here work so hard and so late that I feel it’s nice to give them a bit of a break from their textbooks. Lessons start at 6 30am and go on until 9 30pm, and our student friends are always walking around with a stack of […]

Leaving Home, Arriving in China by Natalie Smythe

Sitting in Newcastle airport waiting for my flight to China was possibly one of scariest things I’ve ever done. It’s more the idea of living somewhere you know so little about, although leaving my family and friends for a whole year was tough too. After nearly two days traveling, I arrived in Beijing with the 25 other Project Trust volunteers for China. As I stepped off the plane the first thing that hit me was the heat, really smoggy, damp heat. The next thing I […]

Xmas Travelling by Natalie Smyth

I’m six months into my gap year now, so that’s halfway through. To answer the question I get asked a lot by my family and friends, I’m still having a great time. It’s more difficult to try and get the most out of this year now that every day life seems exactly that- ordinary. Jane and I are really settled into life here now, with a regular routine, teaching, seeing our friends at lunch, meeting people after school, washing clothes in a bucket and so […]

Waiting to Leave for China by Natalie Smythe

Hi there! In about 3 weeks I’m going to be getting on a plane and flying off to spend a year volunteering in China. This seems like a very daunting prospect, but at the same time I’m so excited! I just think it’s amazing that this kind of opportunity is available to young people like me, if you told me a few years ago I would soon be teaching in rural China for a year I would not have believed you. I have made myself […]