My year long internship with ImmerQi is drawing to a close; and although my time in china is over, the memories from here will be everlasting. A constant source of happiness and amusement. The highlight for me by far is the job. I never knew it was possible to love as job as much as I love teaching here, I’ve had the best time with my gorgeous little kiddies from Grade 1-5. They make me laugh everyday, and I feel so honoured to have been their teacher, it’s been my absolute pleasure. Actually to watch their English improve so much over this year because of me is so satisfying, I am so proud of everything they’ve achieved. Now that it’s time to go and I tell them I can’t come back next semester, and an army of 8 years old surround me and beg me not to go and ask when I’m coming back, it’s heartbreaking. They’ve left such an impression on me and I’ll miss the big cheer they all give me every time I walk into a classroom, the never-ending shouts of “DANNI! DANNI! DANNI!” and “TEACHER TEACHER LET ME TRY!” and “PPAP! PPAP!” They can always brighten my day, I adore them and this is one of the hardest goodbyes I’ll ever have to say.
Secondly is the friends you make on this internship. I came here when I was 18, had never been overseas for more than 5 weeks and as an Australian, know very few people from overseas. Suddenly I was thrust into a new and exciting environment taking the piss out the the accents from England, Europe, America and everywhere else. Our group of foreign teachers at my school has become very tight-knit and now I have amazing friends from Denmark, England, Scotland Italy, Ireland and of course, China. The crazy fun we’ve had in and out of school has cemented our friendships forever and if I’m ever abroad it’s cool that I’ll have so many friends to visit.
Finally, the chance to be immersed in Chinese culture and surrounded by Chinese language has been really incredible. I learned Chinese for 6 years in Australia so to be able to use it everyday and gain a deeper understanding of how it’s used in real life, and learn more about the fascinating and exotic culture of this ancient country. There has been so many chances to go travelling, over this year I’ve experienced things I never thought I would, and visited places that I’ve dreamed of visiting for years. I’ve sat on bamboo rafts surrounded by green mountains jutting out of the ground in Guilin, standing on the top of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Yunnan, made breathless by the stunning scenery, the stunning blue waters in the lakes of Jiuzhaigou, feeling my mouth set on fire from the spicy hot pot in Sichuan, and so many other occasions.
I remember my last few days at home before I embarked on my China journey, I was apprehensive, nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Well, this year turned out to be better than I ever could have imagined and easily the best, most unforgettable year of my life.
Thank you ImmerQi for enabling me to come here and experience all this, and for the constant support and friendship of your amazing staff. If there were ever any problems, you were always a phone call away and did everything you could to sort out any issues and liase with the school to ensure my contract was always upheld. I’m so thankful to your company!
Danni Tzivakis, a teaching intern from Teach & Travel China Program Winter 2017 intake, is currently placed in Foshan, China.