Mar 5, 2012

A small city looks abroad

Getting out of town

Everyone wants to learn English from me.

Last week, I helped one of Linda’s former students prepare for an interview for a position in the UK. (That’s him above, with Linda, on the left; he took us out to dinner to say thank you.) His English is pretty good; he currently works on an oil rig with American and Canadian co-workers. I mostly added some polish and gave him some advice on Western interviews (for example: Don’t bring up your faults unless they ask you. And then, bring up a fault that actually shows how excellent you are.)

It was pretty cool to help him out, and interesting to realize that he’s one of many Luzhou-ites we’ve met that have a real possibility of going abroad for work or study. In comparison with the rest of China, Luzhou is small. The east coast considers this part of the country backwards and unsophisticated. But the people here have global aspirations. The Singapore kids that we work with are all hoping to go to university in Singapore, and many of our other students are starting to ask how they can go to college in the U.S. A few of our fellow teachers have been educated overseas. It’s not what we expected when we moved to a town that other Chinese people refer to as a backwater. But the longer we’re here, the more we see that our school is pretty ambitious and progressive. They have big hopes for their students, which is a really great thing to be a part of.