A CHI team recently toured 5 cities in China, orienting Work and Travel students and talking with several new partners about Internship and Hospitality. What an experience that was! China is an amazing place, with modern, forward thinking and well educated students hungry to experience travel abroad for the first time in their lives. Most of the students have never been out of China, and neither have their parents. Most of the students have also never held a job. Their job is to study and get good grades in school to please their parents and grandparents, and to secure a successful future.
As we interviewed the students, we realized we were not getting spontaneous responses to our questions. Every student had memorized essays to recite, regardless of the questions we asked! We had to become very creative, and ask questions they did not expect, like “Tell me about the most beautiful place you have ever visited in China” or “Tell me about your grandparents”. That got their attention because they were not prepared to talk about these subjects. That was the way we could best judge their English levels.
Amazingly, the Chinese students speak excellent English. It is clear that they have very good teachers. Their pronunciation is good and they have extensive vocabularies. As we met with partners, every one of them asked to double their numbers each year! WOW!
So, we see many, many Chinese students in our future. We are preparing for the future, and it is going to include smart, ambitious and hardworking Chinese students who represent the international direction of China. Let’s be ready!
– Jan King