College student reflects on a summer well spent - The Solihull Observer

College student reflects on a summer well spent

Solihull Editorial 13th Oct, 2015 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016   0

Travelling, adventure and experience is all that’s on teenager Harriet May’s mind as she reflects on a Summer well spent volunteering in China.

The 18-year-old used her Summer months to help out an unprivileged primary school – teaching English to children who had never been taught the language before.

Not only did Harriet teach the class, she also looked after them entirely by herself and developed crucial life skills by taking full responsibility.

The trip, organised by Projects Abroad, was based in a small shantry town on the outskirts of China.

Harriet discovered Projects Abroad through a friend and strongly advised anyone of her age to sign up.

She added: “As soon as I heard about Projects Abroad I applied online and haven’t looked back since.

“I learned so many valuable life skills whilst based in China – the project was fantastic and I was surprised when I was handed full control over a class of 30.

“I managed to teach the children the very basics at the start from greetings to adjectives – nearer the end of my one month of teaching, I taught them sentences to grammar and they could even briefly communicate with me.

“I was very proud of them and my efforts.”

It wasn’t all about teaching and volunteering for Harriet though – the project arranged trips for those involved at the weekends where the group spent time exploring the natural beauty that China had to offer.

Harriet said: “We caught trains to areas such as Beijing, we explored The Great Wall and saw the Yellow Mountains – known as the Grand Canyon of the East.

“I flew out to China by myself and then met my project mates upon arrival, I’ve made great friends from Canada, Italy and more.

“I’d definitely recommend Projects Abroad to anyone considering travel, volunteering or just looking to make the most of their extended Summer break.

“China, as a country, is so very different to the western culture.”

Projects Abroad – founded in 1992 – has ran community based projects overseas for over two decades.

Accessible to anyone, Beth Evans, from Projects Abroad, said: “We see a lot of young volunteers like Harriet take part in these community based projects and it’s fantastic to see so much passion.

“Our volunteers can see different cultures, give back to the community and be tested outside their comfort zone whilst making new friends – we highly recommend people to grasp this amazing opportunity.”

Projects range from teaching, journalism and sport coaching with placements ran throughout the year at flexible timings.

For more information on Projects Abroad, visit or email [email protected]


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