Teacher: August - OPEN
China is as diverse as it is big, a massive mix of regional cultures, food, and traditions. Ancient history is on full display in the Forbidden City, the Ming Tombs, and The Great Wall while bustling metropolises show a modern face in Shanghai and Beijing. Today, there is great importance placed on learning English and discovering Western culture in China’s schools. You can introduce students to your own language and culture while learning about theirs at your placement in China!
Is it for me?
China may be the right place for you if you’re looking to experience a different way of life and immerse yourself in an ancient but modernizing culture. Develop your sense of independence by teaching your own class to improve the conversational English of enthusiastic students. Be creative with your lesson plans and think on your feet to engage and challenge your classes. By committing to challenge of improving your students’ confidence and ability to use the English language you’re opening their doors to more opportunities in school and life.
Placements are located in the southwest of China and on the east coast, click here to view a map.
Teaching placements are in middle schools for students aged 11 to 18, and also in colleges/universities. Volunteers support local Chinese teachers with English classes, particularly enabling students to practice conversational English and learn more about Western culture. There is plenty of opportunity in return to practice Mandarin Chinese, especially with a weekly one-to-one language lesson provided. Volunteers in China are regarded as teachers, and students consider it to be an exceptional privilege to have a Lattitude volunteer in their school. No previous knowledge of Mandarin is required.
A small amount of pocket money is paid.
Accomodation is generally on-site in a furnished flat which usually has air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen (including washing machine, fridge and microwave) and separate bedrooms. Volunteers are usually placed in pairs. An allowance is provided to cover meals which most volunteers utilise at the local canteen on campus.
Before you go:
- We find out more about each volunteer through an interview which helps us select the right people and after a second interview, we match them to a placement that’s right for them.
- Once selected, each volunteer is allocated a Coordinator in the Melbourne office who assists them with all preparations. They provide briefing materials, support with logistics such as flights and visas and are there to answer any questions.
- Everyone attends a briefing camp to meet other volunteers and Lattitude staff, to hear from returned volunteers and prepare for their placement ahead.
- Volunteers complete their own Learning and Development Plan which helps to identify goals and personal skills they would like to develop, and these areas of development are followed up throughout their time away.
- All volunteers sign our Code of Conduct to ensure that our expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.
When you're overseas:
- We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program, provide support and develop close relationships with placement hosts.
- Each volunteer attends an eight-day orientation on arrival in Kunming, which includes a teaching skills and basic Mandarin course.
- Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by an in-country staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.
- We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from Melbourne.
When you're back:
- We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.
- We undertake reviews against the learning needs identified before going overseas which may form part of a reference provided at the end. A letter can also be provided to use towards an application for Youth Allowance.
This is a guide of the costs involved for placements in China in 2018:
|Lattitude fees (exact costs)|
|Lattitude Application Fee||$150|
|Lattitude Placement Fee||$4300|
|Lattitude In-country Orientation||$580|
|Travel costs (approximate)|
|Travel Insurance (5 months)*||$338|
|Return Airfare (ex Melbourne/Sydney)||$1550|
|Total cost (approximate)||$7085
* Travel insurance is quoted on an Allianz Standard Package with $250 excess
Other costs associated with your time away may include obtaining a passport, arranging travel vaccinations, purchasing any additional clothing and travel within the country.
You will have the opportunity to travel within your province and beyond on weekends, public holidays, and once your placement has finished. Climb to the highest point of the Great Wall near Beijing and don’t miss the Road to the Ming Tombs while you’re in the area. See ancient fortresses in the old capitol of Xi’an before you swing by the Army of the Terracotta Warriors. China’s cuisine is so diverse, make sure to sample local flavors in each city you visit! The modern metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou should be on every urban explorer’s list. Not short of natural wonders, from Tiger Leaping Gorge to the Yuanyang Rice Terraces and all the hidden temples in between, everywhere you turn there’s another stunning sight!
|Duration:||4 - 5 months|
Population: 1.3 billion
Time Zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) minus 2 hours
Climate: Being such an expansive country, China experiences a variety of climates and temperates throughout
“Walking into a matchbox sized classroom containing fifty to sixty 12 to 14 year olds may sound incredibly challenging and confronting. Screams of “pick me” and “let me try” – to stick a picture on the black board, as every hand in the room is waving passionately in the air, is proof of the very simple pleasure the children within an Asian classroom gain from interactive learning. Friends I made and grew close to were the sweetest, kindest and most honest people.”
Hannah Loney, Lattitude Teacher