I haven't had much chance to update this blog in a while, because we've been so busy! This post will just be a quick summary of what we've all been up to this past week (assuming I can remember everything that is...):
We spent the last week in Harbin, which is in the north of China - it is a lovely city and the weather was good - not too hot and not too cold (although apparently it's so cold in winter, people have to wear face masks!!). We finished off our TEFL course - passed with no problems which I'm very happy about :) - although it is still very weird that I could walk out of the door right now and teach English!...which actually, if you think about it, is exactly what I will be doing....hmm...
Our program was split up so we did our TEFL course for two days, had a day off, and then had two days of culture classes, while the other half of us did their TEFL course. The culture classes were good - I really enjoyed doing calligraphy (dunno if the teacher was very impressed with our efforts though...but apparently it does take a lifetime to master, so I guess we shouldn't feel too bad :P), tai chi was good although we did get stared at a lot by the Chinese university students, and learning Mandarin was ok - it was hard, but at least I guess it'll come in handy (providing of course, all I want to buy is a mango - that's the only word I can remember right now....)
We got back to Beijing on Thursday night - we couldn't wait to get back as it turned out we were finding out our placements that night instead of the next day! And it turns out that I've been placed in Beijing!
I'm pretty happy because I asked for the North, so the weather here shouldn't be too bad (not as cold as Harbin at least). I know I'll never lack for things to do, and if I don't have wifi in my accommodation, at least I can just find a cafe and use the wifi there instead! Plus, Beijing has amazing transport links to the rest of the country, so it'll be easy for me to go and visit people and vice versa. The only downsides are that I haven't been placed with anyone I've become really close to over the past few weeks - I am looking forward to meeting more new people, but at the same time, I am going to miss everyone I've met so far! The other big thing I'm not too sure about is the pollution - we've been lucky the last few days with blue skies and sunshine, but the smog here can be appalling. I already feel like I have a scratchy throat and I've only been here a few days! Ah well, at least I'll never complain about pollution/traffic/people whenever I visit London again....
So that's all for now. Going to go and check out now, and wait downstairs for my school contact to come and pick me up - exciting times! I just hope they're not expecting me to start teaching tomorrow morning - I have NO idea what I should do for a first lesson, so I'd like some time to prepare!
Until next time - zaijian!