China has a long, rich and complex history. Chinese people are proud of their culture and their ancient past, and at the same time they are moving forward in a rapidly changing environment. With a population of 1.3 billion people, nearly 20% of the world's population lives in China. Through the Peace Corps, Volunteers are able to live and work in China, discover its fascinating culture, learn Mandarin, the most spoken language of the world, and experience the intricacies and nuances of a fascinating culture.
Countrywide, China has a shortage of 500,000 English teachers. In 1993 the first group of eighteen Peace Corps Volunteers were sent at the request of the Chinese government. Volunteers participated in a pilot project engaged in English education at the university level. Fourteen years have passed and English education continues to be the top priority for the universities in China.
Currently 114 Volunteers are teaching English in more than 62 universities, including five medical colleges and four vocational colleges. Peace Corps Volunteers are known as "U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers" to their students and colleagues.
Volunteers teach English at colleges and universities within four regions of Western China: Sichuan, Guizhou, Gansu, and Chongqing.
Common classes assigned to Volunteers include: Oral English, Listening Comprehension, Reading, Writing, Literature and Linguistics. Secondary projects instigated by Volunteers include English resource centers, radio shows, movie nights, sports clubs and women's clubs. Volunteers have created a website where they are able to exchange teaching ideas, lesson plans and methods.
China is a place full of vitality and opportunity and is a nation rapidly emerging as a major player on the world stage. U.S.-China Friendship Volunteers have a unique opportunity to be part of this vitality and transformation.
Where I will be doing my first two months training/ possible post- Chengdu in the Sichuan Provincet: