by Jacob Acosta
Living and working at WTIS provided me with a unique opportunity to immerse myself in traditional Chinese culture while teaching English. WTIS is proving itself as a trend-setter for a revival in education in China, and it is great to see this take place in person. The school emphasizes traditional Chinese culture, holistic development, and an outdoor program to give students a unique and well-rounded education.
Personal development is encouraged, and teachers are welcome to discover their ‘chi ’through martial arts and meditation classes. The students are terrific: always energetic and eager to learn. As teachers at WTIS, we do not merely lecture, but help students learn about and celebrate holidays and customs from around the world, broadening their horizons. Teachers collaborate on outdoor activities which provide experiential learning for students as well. Being a teacher at Taihu has provided me with a fully immersive experience, while at the same time giving me a chance to take part in the total development of the students here. After a year here, I know I have had a meaningful impact on the lives of students, while learning a great deal about another culture and developing myself.
The school has been very good about providing accommodation and regular, balanced meals. Teachers are occasionally treated to special dishes like Sichuan fish soup, hot pot, and a variety of others. The school’s location in the countryside provides the opportunity to explore rural life, which differs vastly from the fast pace of Shanghai and other big cities. A major perk of the school has been the accommodation, which provides an excellent opportunity to save up for traveling. In the past year have made it to the Great Wall and Forbidden City in Beijing, the Terracotta Warriors and Muslim Quarter in Xi’an, the Ten Thousand Buddha Mountain at the foot of Tai Shan, the beautiful coastal city of Qingdao, and even Taiwan. The school is near several water towns, which make for great day or weekend trips. The school shuttle to Shanghai makes it easy to spend a weekend in one of the largest cities in the world with countless new sights and activities. The opportunities here are virtually endless, and anything you are looking for you are sure to find!