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Volunteer Work in China Part 1
China is a land of contradictions that unites two poles in an incredible way: fascinating culture and an economically progressive mindset. As one of the largest and oldest countries in the world, it boasts a lively history reflected in today's culture. The historic monuments, the Buddhist temples, and the simple life out in the countryside seem both romantic and nearly mythical. Then there are picturesque landscapes with an enchanting flair. All of this is in contrast to modern city life in the large metropolises - like Shanghai and Beijing - where progress dominates everyday life. Massive economic growth helped turn the country into a superpower by the end of the 20th century. China now plays a crucial role in modern global affairs. It has developed into a country of superlatives. Yet despite the economic boom, sadly there are still groups in society suffering from it. The gap between the poor and the rich continues to expand even further in China. Children especially are seriously affected. Those who want to help are in the right place. Volunteer service is a wonderful opportunity for everybody who wishes to experience contradictory and fascinating China from the inside. As a volunteer in China you will have a great chance to become acquainted with the richly diverse culture of the country, acquire authentic experiences, and work to help the weak and helpless of the country at the same time. Below you will find the most pertinent information, tips, and aids if you are considering volunteer work in China.
Who can afford to volunteer in China?
There are numerous ways to work as a volunteer in the land of contradictions. Various organizations offer projects with a variety of focuses, and they are always looking for volunteers. People who enjoy working with children will find a particularly wide range of projects with a high demand for volunteers. Even though you are offering your own personal services, however, you will certainly have to pay to volunteer. Yet while you will definitely expand your own experiences and broaden your horizons through such work, it is worth investing the necessary funds. More information on money can be found under the section "What does it cost to volunteer in China?"
What areas can a volunteer work in?
One good way to get involved with children and their education is to teach English at a Chinese school. Working with children gives volunteers immersive and intensive experience with Chinese culture. Voluntary instruction also gives volunteers exciting insight into a completely different education system. At the same time you acquire valuable practical experience and intercultural skills. This is invaluable for aspiring teachers or education professionals in particular. There are numerous organizations that offer teaching projects in China. One good example for an organized teaching program is the landing package Teach and Travel China from Work and Traveller. This program eases entry into the foreign culture by providing not just a teaching position at a school, but other services as well such as a language course, accommodations and provisions, a monthly salary, and an extensive range of leisure activities. Organizational support and assistance on site are also included in the package.
Social projects with children
If you enjoy working with children, but would rather not or cannot teach English, you have the opportunity to work on other social projects with children. Be it a children's home, a kindergarten, or a sports project, the range of offers is broad because help is needed everywhere. Accommodations and provisions are generally included in the programs, sometimes even a language course. Many volunteers combine social projects with children with wildlife projects.