While you were an ESL teacher in China you decided to go camping with your fellow teachers. You wanted to live an exciting adventure and get outside the city. Little did you realize beforehand, you actually learned a lot about yourself.
Camping has a way of causing us to reflect on ourselves. It’s a powerful feeling. So what did you learn while you were camping? They might just surprise you.
You’re Savvier Than You Think
You thought you were pretty awesome at being savvy in your Chinese neighborhood, but camping brought that to another level. Camping requires you to use all available resources in as many ways as possible. That shirt you packed? It’s now wrapped around your head to stop sweat. Your metal water bottle? It’s now your go-to for making hot chocolate.
You’re At Least A Little Okay With Breaking The Law
Camping is a funny thing in China. You see, in the United States camping is all the rage. But in China? It’s only just becoming a thing. According to the law it’s both illegal and legal to camp in China. This is to give police officers some leeway on deciding if they want to remove someone from an area.
There’s always some risk camping, but there are methods to minimize it. To minimize risk, camp away from roads and bodies of water. The deeper you’re in the woods, the better.
You Will Have To Become Comfortable With Yourself
Even though you may be with friends or fellow teachers, there’s still much self-reflection. You’ll quickly lapse into thinking about friends and family, but then the deep stuff comes. Your personal ambitions, why you came to China in the first place, and what you’re going to do once you leave.
This deep reflection is going to help you become more comfortable with yourself. It’s rare to find moments in life where we can look into our souls to find out who we are. That’s one of the reasons that camping is so amazing. And what better place to do it than the Chinese countryside?
You’re One Hell Of A Trekker
To get out of range from the police, you’re going to want to head well into the jungle with your compass. This is going to make you one hell of a trekker. There are many traits that make a good trekker, so make sure you’re prepared before your journey begins.
Before you leave, you might want to do a couple training hikes to make sure you can handle the mileage with your gear. Next, you might need some walking poles – or at least a good and sturdy stick from the woods. Also, you can never bring enough water!
You’ll Become More Grateful About Your Travels
Traveling to China is a big deal. You’re there. You made it. Sitting back in the countryside, in the peace and quiet, will make you realize how lucky you are. So few people are able to travel at all, much less to somewhere so exotic and far away as China. It’s going to make you appreciate all of your travels.
You’re Actually Pretty Brave
You’re brave. It’s not the fact that what you’re doing is particularly dangerous. There’s little risk of failure. But still, few people have the courage to travel to China and then go camping.
You’re out in the elements, too. This is where anything can happen. Your gear can get drenched in torrential rain, you could go short on food or you could sprain an ankle. But here you are, toughing it out and doing it anyway.
Who Needs Tech? Not You!
The world of technology can be overwhelming and overrated at times. Especially if you’re in a city, the technology may feel as if it’s impossible to get away from. Once you’re in the countryside none of your technology will be of much use.
If you tend to always be on your laptop and cellphone, the break may feel scary at first. You’ll soon realize that this is good for you. It will reset your system and help you mentally recharge to face the rest of your trip.
Camping in China is such a wonderful opportunity to learn about yourself. You’ll learn how to become more comfortable with who you are and your ambitions. You’ll learn how to be versatile and to be grateful for your adventures. You’ll learn just how awesome you truly are.
Camping can be some of the most memorable experiences you have ever had. Staying in open with your friends. Setting up the tent. Finding the perfect spot.
If you are a traveler who likes nature, this might be one of your preferred options to spend the night. If you are interested in far east, China may have a lot of options for you.
1. The Yellow Mountain
One of the most amazing natural sites to visit is the Huangshan Mountain, or Yellow Mountain. Located in the Eastern China, not far from the coast. You might spend days exploring the mountain range.
Huangshan Mountain is close to the coast and to the major cities in China. This will make it easy to start your camping trip in China, as the first place to visit.
2. The Thousand Islands Lake
Qiandao Lake, also known as the Thousand Islands Lake is our second recommendation. It is a man-made lake formed in 1959. Located in Zhejiang Province, it is one of the more fascinating places to visit.
There are 1078 small islands of Qiandao Lake. It is possible to reach them in a kayak. While you are on the water you will instantly notice how pristine it is.
When you reach the camping site you will enjoy the fresh air and clear skies. During the night you can see the moonlight reflecting on the surface of the lake. It is truly a magical sight.
3. The Li River
Li River is located in Guangxi Province. It is part of the Guilin and Lijiang River National Park. It is not as close to major cities. If you plan to camp nearby you will need to invest in transportation.
Li River is one of the most beautiful rivers in all of China. Especially if you plan to stay near Guilin or Yangshuo.
4. The Xinjiang Desert
Desert camping may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of camping. It is still an interesting thing to explore. To set up a tent in the desert we move far west to the Xinjiang Desert. It may not be close, but it is not difficult to reach. Especially if you have arranged trip with an authorized agency.
The scenery can seem desolate at times. There are still sites to see. Some of them are the Lop Nor village. You can decide to camp nearby and explore this wonderful settlement. You might even be surprised by all the greenery.
One other option for traveling through Xinjiang Desert is camel trek. It may not be for everyone. You will also have to take care of it while you sleep. But it is still a memorable experience.
5. Leshan Giant Buddha and Dazu Rock Carvings
Another reason to camp, even backpack through China are all the ancient monuments and cities all over the country. It is one of the best ways to experience some of them. You will not be allowed to camp right next to some of them, but you will be able to see them.
While you travel from Huangshan Mountain to the Xinjiang Desert, stop by the Dazu Rock Carvings. You will find more than 10000 carvings made in 13th century. Further along the way, you might encounter Leshan Giant Buddha. It is a 233 ft tall statue located in Sichuan province.
6. The Great Wall
Yes it is possible to camp on the Great Wall of China. No it is not entirely legal to do so. Saying that people camp there all the time. You might get caught by the rangers, or by the police. Try to be as polite as possible to avoid any trouble for yourself if that does happen.
By now it is a known thing and you might even be let alone. It is recommended to avoid parts of the Great Wall that are closed to the public. As some parts are less safe for longer stay.
7. Chinese people
Saying that the Chinese people are hospitable is an understatement. You will be safe even if alone in the wild. Or in small villages you encounter along the way. You can ask for help if you get lost, or they might even restock your supplies, if you run out of them.
This all is important if this is your first time in China. Be sure to know at least some most useful words, as the English knowledge in China is very low. This is especially the case among the older generations.
8. Other campers
Camping in China attracts people from all over the world. Being one of the biggest and most memorable countries in the world. It is a place full of history and natural wonders. Staying in a large camp site you will be able to meet the most unexpected people.
Even if you decide to travel in small groups, you will still be able to meet other campers. Considering that many of them will be interested in the same places you wanted to visit.
9. Out of the city
City life can be stressful, especially in a foreign country. It can be even more noticeable in China. As there are immense number of people in every large city you find yourself in. They can be great places to work and earn money, but not to relax.
This is why camping in China can be a wonderful experience. It will let you see some of the most breathtaking places on Earth. It will also make you forget about the constant tension of living in a large city.
10. One of a kind experience
Camping in China is an experience you will not find anywhere else. Amazing wonders of nature that exist only in China. There is no other place where you can go from the most beautiful lake in the world, take the camel and camp in the desert. It is an experience of a lifetime.
While it is possible to see and camp at all the places listed, I would suggest to pace yourself. Find what you like the most and experience each location to its fullest.
It is a wonderful way to see the side of China you may not have if you sent all your time in a city.
If you never been the fan of classroom teaching methodology or at least you are interested in something new, excited, yet comprehensive teaching experience, you should consider teaching English abroad at a summer camp. Most likely, there is no better combination of spending summer abroad as an ESL teacher than in the fun and educational environment such as summer camps. Traveling, meeting new people and cultures, expanding teaching experience, the creation of a bunch of short-termed opportunities – all of these are at the heart core of TEFL teaching abroad.
Regardless of your TEFL teaching experience, you can always give a shot and enrich your resume with a teaching abroad in summer cums. There are many camps across the world, offering the opportunity to teach students in a range from school age kids to university students. Europe, Latin America, Australia, Asia are full of learning camps with diverse programs. Where to go – depends on your travel preferences, but whatever choice you make the following benefits are:
1. Comprehensive Experience
Teach English abroad is remarkable life and teaching experience which can enrich you both as a person and ESL teacher. Conducting English lessons during summer in the camps full of kids gives you insight into teaching from a whole new perspective. Sunny nature instead of a classroom, learning filled with a plenty of outdoor activities, children with the different cultural background – all of these represents a mixture of diverse challenges put in front of you. Once you passed them, your improvement of personal and teaching skills are imprinted forever.
2. Low/No cost
Whether you’re teaching English abroad as a volunteer or ESL teacher, most summer camps provide room and meals. Sometimes, there is modest stipend approximately $200- $300 a week. So, basically, you have low or no expenses at all. Also, there is a possibility of included trips during the camp, although it is not always provided.
3. Short Time Commitment
Typical summer camps run two to four weeks. The longest possible time is twelve weeks. These short – term contracts allow you to frequently switch camps and countries providing you exclusive opportunities to meet various cultures.
4. Camp Atmosphere
If you’ve ever been as a child in the camp, you can already imagine the lively atmosphere that prevails there. This time as an adult and teacher. However, it doesn’t mean that you will not
have a fun as children. On the contrary, this is a unique place where you can be both. Besides often playful learning classes, you will be required to be the part of after-class activities. Perhaps you will run the bike race or simply enjoy in hiking, jet skiing, music shows and parties. Whatever you do, camp directors work very hard to fill every day with many activities. One thing’s for sure: you will never forget your TEFL teaching experience abroad.
5. Try Different Training Methods
Most of you are probably familiar with classical teaching methods given by traditional schools. One of the best thing about summer camps teaching are the infinity of creative lessons. Creating innovative learning methods are the synonyms for ESL teachers. You can test and try plenty ideas and adjust them according to specific group needs. Your creative skills will be maximized in a short amount of time.
6. Meeting New Cultures
Teaching itself is already challenging job, but when you find yourself in front of children whose level of English is poor, while their native language and cultural background are unknown for you, your interpersonal and teach skills will be highly tested. You may be facing with habits which are unfamiliar to you. Different food, social behavior, distinctive children treatments are something that you will soon or later notice. Although the cultural adjustment is necessary for the beginning, this abroad experience will certainly help you to enrich your teacher’s life. There is no better way to meet the new cultures, than in the summer camps. With English lessons and everyday outdoor activities, every cultural challenge is easy to overcome.
7. Test Yourself As Abroad Teacher
If you ever thought that you could teach English abroad, but wasn’t sure about it, the summer camps are ideal for testing your preferences. As camps run for short amount of time, yet enough to discover all advantages and disadvantages of abroad teaching, this opportunity should be used. Thanks to it, you could easily decide if you’re for this kind of job or not.
8. Gain/Extend TEFL Teach Experience
If you are ESL teacher with no experience, summer camps are an easier way to gain it, with additional benefits that come with it, such as a combination of teaching and summer vacation. Same works for those with experience. Adding another job line seasoned with a foreign element in your resume certainly is not a flaw. Simply everything you’ve done in camp will be significant and lavishly lifetime and teach experience.
We hope this insightful list of why you should teach English abroad will be helpful for you to make a decision and who knows…Maybe even next year you will be on one of the best summer journeys in your life.
How looks the typical working day of a teacher in the traditional school? Between tight schedules, the teacher is preparing for classes, lecturing, grading students and finally writing administration reports. Most of these activities accomplishing in the classroom. It seems that there is not much room for creativity. Somehow it’s captured between the classroom walls. One of the best parts of the school year both for teachers and pupils are excursions and field trips. Why? Because it’s outdoor activities, making a perfect combination of learning and fun. And yet this is only the tip of the iceberg. The benefits of an outdoor teaching are much deeper and filled with more impactful experiences.
The Mental Benefits Of Outdoor Teaching
Think of yourself as a human being in a first place. Being in nature will make you feel complete, happier, less stressful and more open to adventures. This personal mental improvement naturally would increase your teaching abilities. As a fulfill person, the vast majority of your teaching skills would come at its best. Surrounded by nature and kids, your innovations and creativity would become limitless. The flexibility of teaching in nature will make you more confident and natively connected with your pupils.
The Social Benefits Of Outdoor Teaching
Learning outdoors create engagement community of teachers and children. Inspired by the healthy and green surroundings, you could easily encourage kids natural curiosity and openness to examine. Receiving feedbacks from their observations would create an endless cycle of mutual learning interaction.
The Practical Application Of The Acquired Knowledge In Nature
When you lecture kids in nature, you could create the bunch of environmental experiments which would have priceless meanings for their educational development. You no longer need to struggle to present them abstract lessons. Whether you’re teaching biology or math you can always find real life examples in nature. The perfect practical use of acquired theoretical knowledge happens in outdoor activities.
To live in the modern capitalist world is not easy. Families have been torn between appointments, paying bills and child-rearing. They barely have time to spend with each other. Children are particularly affected by this trend. Often compensate for the lack of parental attention and time is watching TV or playing PC games. These are the most typical children’s after-school activities. Add to this traditional schooling where their education is indoor conducted surrounded by numerous tech gadgets and we get the big picture. We have lost touch with nature, forgetting how important and healthy is. It is in our best interest to rethink our lifestyle.
Being in nature with your kids and provide them an outdoor schooling could be the best decision of your life. Just think outside the chain of traditional schooling. When you are in nature, you can wake up children’s inner world of creativity and curiosity. Instead of classical learning, encourage them to explore, think, play and jointly looking for the answers. Diversities of experiences collected in this way are the strong base for child development.
How to change your closed lifestyle into adventurous outdoor life? Start with openness. Recall your childish enthusiasm, grab your kids hands and go to the trip. Stop to communicate through the screen and turn off your electronic devices. This trip will not be the spare time, but funny, educational and healthy. Not to be mentioned emotional benefits of the assembled family. Liberate yourself from the constraints of modern society and traditional schooling. You owe it to yourself. Moreover, you owe it to your children.