Visit or even hold the pandas at Chengdu's sanctuary
Sichuan is a huge province located in South West China, and with a population of 81,100,100, it is the fourth largest province in the country. Famous for pandas, ancient artefacts and delicious food, Sichuan is a favourite among the ESLstarter staff and TEFL teachers alike. With our latest internship cohort settling into their orientation, we wanted to tell you about where we have sent them and the surroundings they will be living in for the next 4 months.
Sichuan is home to one of the oldest cultures in the world. Scientists have found that there has been human activity in the area for around 2 million years, meaning old tea rituals and ancient artefacts are common ground in the province. One of the most famous exports from Sichuan is the food. Flavours developed over thousands of years have helped the food become popular worldwide, especially in the western world, so our interns will hopefully find a little piece of home in their culinary experiences.
Another ancient wonder in Sichuan is the Zigong Dinosaur Museum which displays full dinosaur skeletons and fossils from thousands of years ago. The museum is home to the world’s largest collection of fossils and dinosaur remnants, allowing visitors to be transported back to a time when the beasts ran wild.
Chengdu, Sichuan’s capital city, is famous for giant pandas, with 85% of China’s population of the bears living in the area. Tourists often visit the area hoping for a glimpse of China’s signature creature, and for a small fee can even hold baby pandas and a handful of breeding centres in Chengdu.
Our latest intake of interns will currently be in Chengdu, participating in their orientation, surrounded by the best nature has to offer. Known to locals as the ‘Heavenly State’, Chengdu boasts two stunning rivers, dense forests and a unique laid back atmosphere.
Although it is full of ancient wonders, Chengdu also has a brilliant nightlife culture. Due to the city’s growing number of expats from all around the world, the nightlife scene is a real melting pot of cultures from around the globe. It’s typical to find a German bar serving Belgian beer whilst revellers dance to a soundtrack provided by a Jamaican dancehall DJ!
With such a mixture of cultures and bygone eras influencing the province, Sichuan has a huge array of activities to get involved with, whether you’re sporty or a child at heart, Sichuan will have the perfect activity for you.
Visiting Happy Valley theme park is a must for thrill seekers and inner children alike. It is a great place to spend a day off from teaching, or even to bring into the classroom, asking students about one of the most visited theme parks in the region.
If you prefer a laid back activity, why not take part in an ancient Chinese tea ceremony? Indulge in some of the world’s best tea whilst taking in the camaraderie of the ceremony. Long pots are common in Sichuan, given the name due to the extra-long spout on the teapot. The long pot is often used in performances across the region for crowds of locals and tourists who have one thing in common: a love of tea.
Extreme sports enthusiasts rejoice! Xiling Snow Mountain ski resort is suitable for experienced snow sports lovers and also those who want to give it a go. With stable snow conditions over the winter and grass skiing available over the summer months, winter sports are available all year round, meaning our interns can take to the slopes at any time during their 4 month stay.
Not only are our teachers teaching in China, they’re also being taught! Taking part in two hours of Mandarin lessons a week and also gaining a TEFL qualification, our intake will be gaining so many valuable skills to take out into the wider world once their contract has ended in China.
Of course our teachers are over in China to provide guidance and support to students in government sponsored schools. They will eventually be dispersed over Sichuan to teach 15 classes a week to enthusiastic students in some of the top schools in the province. Also taking part in a full cultural exchange, this is a rewarding and exciting time for our teaching interns.
We wish the full cohort the best of luck during their time in Sichuan and hope each and every teacher gets everything they want out of their placements. If you are interested in taking part in our Chinese teach & learn program, the next intake leave in February. You do not need any prior experience or any qualifications, just the drive to learn and a passion for travel! If you require any further information, talk to a member of our team today.
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