There is an extraordinary mix of cultures alive in China, from the ancient history of the Terracotta Warriors to the thriving metropolis of Beijing. As the world’s most populous country, education is very important and there is great emphasis on learning English and discovering more about Western culture. Lattitude volunteers play a valuable role in this and you may even be approached by community members keen to practice their English with you.
Placements are located in the southwest of China and onthe east coast, click here to view a map.
Is it for me?
This truly unique cultural experience will also give you the opportunity to improve your students’ English language skills and future prospects. It will suit those who are enthusiastic, engaging, can think on their feet and have the confidence to teach up to 50 students at a time.
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.
Accommodation & food
Volunteers are generally placed in pairs and live on-site in a furnished flat which usually has air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen (including washing machine, fridge and microwave) and separate bedrooms. 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, identify their learning needs and hear from returned volunteers.
- 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 Kumming, 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.
These costs are for Lattitude placements in China in 2014
Lattitude fees (exact costs):
|Lattitude Application Fee||$125|
|Lattitude Placement Fee||$3600|
|Lattitude In-country Orientation||$480|
You will also need to budget for the following (approx costs):
|Travel Insurance (5 months)||$322|
|Return Airfare (ex Melbourne/Sydney)||$1700|
|Total cost (approximate)||$6368|
Other costs associated with your time away may include obtaining a passport, purchasing any additional clothing required and arranging travel vaccinations.
A range of funding options are available, find out more here.
You will have the chance to see your province and other parts of China on weekends, public holidays and after your placement. Climb the Great Wall of China near Beijing and walk a mile in either direction. Explore the Silk Road and see the routes that used to stretch from northern China to Caspian and Mediterranean Seas. Travel along the Yangtze River, which is the third-longest river in the world at 6418 kilometres in length. Another must-see is the amazing Terracotta Warriors in Xian.
|Departs in 2014:||February|
|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