Monday, December 26, 2011

ILP and Weihai

A little background information:

I'm going to China through a program called International Language Programs (ILP). They have been sending students across the world to teach English for 19 years! They have schools in Russia, Ukraine, China, Mexico, Thailand, and Taiwan. I applied for the program back in January, and after countless paperwork, interviews and doctors notes, I was accepted! I started filling out travel documents, studying the culture and preparing for training.

Why China?
I get asked that question a lot! Well, I wasn't born with this desire to travel to China before I die. But I was born with a desire to travel. I knew that in order to do that, I would have to find a program that would  be a good fit financially and educationally. I did some research, and ILP seemed to be the perfect fit. The thing I love most about this program is that it is not called a study abroad, but rather, a service abroad. We are not paid to go teach; we do not spend five months traveling and sight seeing every day. We give up our time and put our energy into teaching children. And I love the idea of that. After I decided that I wanted to travel through ILP, I looked at the places I could go. Russia and Ukraine are way too cold, my mother would die before she let me go to Mexico and Thailand/Taiwan sound amazing, but they are brand new schools to the program and I wanted to go somewhere where the program had been in practice for a while. So, that left me with China. And I was okay with that.

Where in China?
ILP has 10 schools in China, all scattered about the country. I just received my city assignment of Weihai! It looks beautiful, it is right on the coast of the Yellow Sea, right between Beijing and Shanghai.

From my research, I have learned that Weihai is a medium-sized Chinese city with a total population of 2.48 million, of which the urban area occupies 50.8 km² and the population is 420,000. It is a major seaport and used to be owned by Great Britain between 1898 and 1930 and was called Port Edward. It has some beautiful beaches and is a huge tourist spot for Koreans. 

Looks beautiful, no?

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