For instance, one thing they said future Logansport teachers heading to China might want to know before leaving is that they may not receive a lot of information when out and about on ambassadorial duties. And it’s not that the Chinese prefer to keep guests in the dark, they said, but rather a part of their culture.
“If they have a guest, they just want them to know they’re taken care of,” Lang said.
Nelson elaborated by saying they were rarely given details about where they were going and what they were doing when on ambassadorial and recreational outings and that their questions on these matters were often met with confusion.
This cultural gap often led to surprises on their trips, the teachers said, but Lang said the biggest surprise of all was just how significant she would find the whole experience to be.
“I expected to go and teach and be an ambassador for Logansport,” Lang said, “and I left with with an understanding of another culture that made me more empathetic to the melting pot that is the United States and for my own multilingual students.
“I didn’t expect to be as emotionally invested in the trip as I was,” she continued. “I didn’t expect it to be quite so hard to leave... I feel like I have a home on the other side of the world now.”
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or email@example.com.
Blogging in China Visit teacher Melanie Lang's blog at thelanglog.blogspot.com to read more about teaching in China and to view her photo albums.