Alumni Comments 2008

We had a safe and comfortable trip home. The laundry is done, and the gifts have been distributed or put away until the next occasion. We have been reunited with the grandchildren and have watered the neglected plants. The four weeks' worth of mail has been sorted, and the bills paid.

We are still excited about the trip and agree that it was a wonderful experience that we would like to enjoy again. The management and support at the school including scheduling, facilities, programs, wi-fi in the office, materials, assistants and Chinese teachers were all excellent. The food was fresh, varied, and delicious. The hotel was clean and comfortable with Internet access, good breakfasts, and friendly staff. The location near stores and other services was good as well. Thanks for the ample supply of safe water!

Each tourist city had its special sights. The cruises kept the pace from being too tiring. The Guilin cruise was probably the most spectacular. We enjoyed the tea plantation and West Lake. Though not big shoppers, we were "inspired" at the leather and silk stores. Our tour guide was J.J. We thought he was informative, attentive, clever, patient, humorous. and very approachable.

We are still amazed at the superb and detailed management of the program in Tongxiang. If and when we think of something to include in next year's program, we will certainly be in touch. Right now we are in agreement that this was the opportunity of a lifetime, and we are grateful and honored to have been included.

Maureen & Lewis J. From California

2008 Summer Program

I certainly learned a great deal about Chinese cultural and geography. I benefited greatly from my experience. I believe that teachers who return for a second or third time are probably more effective in the classroom because they have greater familiarity with the school set-up and the language needs of learners. I commend Chinese schools for desiring proficiency in a second language. English speaking Chinese will likely have many doors open for future employment

I found the people with whom I dealt to be helpful and friendly. I could see cultural differences, but similarities are profoundly evident. I have been a walking advertisement for the program. Many of my co-teachers and friends are amazed at my experiences. I hope to encourage a teacher or two to consider applying for the program. I know several teachers who would work very hard to provide excellent language lessons.

I also think you did a great job in recruiting teachers who worked well together, who were versatile, and open to new experiences. My group mingled well with one another. I enjoyed my experiences with them very much. I met many adventurers!

China is exciting and beautiful. I now have the "bug" to visit other Chinese destinations and Asian areas beyond.

Sandi D.

2008 Summer Program

Overall, I thought the program was wonderful! I had a great time and hope to return next year.

I thought they (school officials) tried their best to accommodate our needs, and I was happy with their efforts. The accommodations were superb! The tour was fantastic! All the cities were so wonderful; it's hard to pick a favorite. I did like Hangzhou and Guilin a lot and wished we had more time in those cities. I think the program offered all of us participants a wonderful experience in China's rich and vibrant culture! I do wish the program were longer! I enjoyed every minute of it!

Thank you for all your hard work and for including us in such a wonderful experience!!

Leng T.

2008 Summer Program

The school was wonderful and I felt I had enough materials for my lessons.

The food was excellent once again. I enjoyed the lectures and the work of so many people to offer us some cultural content. The accommodations were much better than last year with the location being central to the city and market being a few blocks away. I would keep the hotel for next year if I were you. I enjoyed the tour- JJ was an excellent tour guide. He is a born storyteller and filled us in on a family's life in China. I gained a great deal of knowledge from him. I also like the way the tour was laid out to cope with our jet lag and continue to show us parts of China. Guilin was exquisite! I love Hangzhou and had a wonderful time there. Suchou was a good stop as jet lag set in on the third day! The way the luggage was taken care of was also logistically better.

The students enjoyed learning more about history and science through English and through cooperative learning. They could speak more and work together to complete the oral presentations throughout the lessons.

Janice S. From Alaska

2008 & 2007 Summer Program

I just want to thank you again for giving me the wonderful opportunity of going to China with the group. I probably never would have gone to China if not for this program and I had the most amazing time and will remember it forever. Now that I am home I realize that I definitely want to go back some day. In fact I am already missing it!! Your program is great, and I think you are providing a fabulous service for both teachers and the schools.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jon F. From Alaska

2008 Summer Program

First, I would like to say how impressed I was with your program. Thank you for being so organized and up-to-date right from the beginning. And thank you for all your guidance and help while I was in Tongxiang. It made my stay there very comfortable.

Below are my opinions: Food: Absolutely delicious! Our cook (chef would be a better term) outdid himself. Every meal was so good, with so many varieties of food. I couldn't have asked for better meals.

Accommodations: All hotels were quite good. The food in the hotels was also good. I was happy with the rooms. Enjoyed Tongxiang. Loved visiting the factories.

Tours: Great! Enjoyed all the places we visited. Hangzhou was my favorite. The next time I'm in China, I would definitely return to that city. Loved shopping in Shanghai. The sights of Guilin were wonderful. JJ was a great tour guide...so informative

Teaching: The administrators and staff of Tongxiang definitely made me feel welcomed. From the banquets (gum-bay!!) to the Opening/Closing ceremonies, I was impressed by their hospitality. The staff room always had water and snacks. It was great having the opportunity to use the computer lab.

Thank you for choosing me to participate in your program. It is obvious both of you put a lot of work into to it. You should be commended.

Carol S.

2008 Summer Program

First of all, I wish to thank you for the wonderful opportunity to participate in the summer program at Nanjing. It was a wonderful experience, which allowed me to gain a much deeper insight into the culture of China. At all times I did my best to make it a positive cross-cultural experience. I enjoyed the food, the tours, the contact with the people in spite of the language barrier, the shopping (especially the bargaining), and just watching everyday life unfold around me.

I felt that the food at the school was adequate for the most part. I do not think that the school should have to accommodate to our personal food preferences. This is all part of the experience.

The accommodations were all good. I do not have any complaints regarding the hotels. I especially enjoyed the upgrade in Nanjing. I also enjoyed all the cities. All of them had something interesting to offer. I am an avid photographer so I enjoyed photographing the scenes around me. I especially liked Guilin. This city has a lot to offer as far as scenery. Very picturesque and unique landscapes. Hangzhou is also very pretty. West Lake is unforgettable. The choice of cities gave us a good exposure to urban life, from the huge metropolis of Shanghai to the somewhat slower paced Guilin

The tour guides were all excellent. All very attentive and responsive to our needs. Henry handled our check-ins in a very professional manner. He was very informative and also entertaining. George, very funny. Loved his Chinese accent and sense of humor. Self-made, admirable, a go-getter. Very informative. Wei (David) is a great guy, very knowledgeable, friendly and attentive to our needs. Spoke excellent English. I was very satisfied with all of them. They took very good care of us.

I do hope that the program will continue, since as you say, it is a great way to promote mutual global understanding. Thank you.

Ariel L.

2008 Summer Program

I just wanted to also thank you for allowing young teachers like myself, Conrad, and Christina. to attend teaching in China. I know we are young but the experience that we gained from being in China was so memorable and had such an impact on making me a better teacher and also understanding the culture of China better. I really have no complaints about the program. The Tongxiang group of teachers and the school was amazing and far exceeded my expectations. The guide services of M., P., and C. were what made it also such a memorable experience. It was nice to know that there were such enthusiastic individuals to help us with our random needs if we had any. I don't know what we would have done without them, plus it greatly helped us understand the culture of China that much more by constantly being exposed and surrounded by them. The tour was great and JJ was awesome. My favorite city was Guilin. I would love to spend more time there in the future. So beautiful and unique in its landscape. Yes, the tour and the program were awesome and I hope I can be a part of it in the future. Thanks again for everything. I'll never forget my experiences there.

Ryan K. From California

2008 Summer Program

I want to let you know that I am really thankful for the opportunity you gave me. I have seen and learned so much about your culture in the past three weeks and I will be able to continue the next 2.5 weeks that I'll be traveling with L.. I wouldn't have been able to do all of this on my own. This program not only gave me the plane ticket, tours and meals, but also companions. Thank you so so much for inviting me into the program. I'll never forget this wonderful experience.

Gennieve C. From Florida

2008 Summer Program

I just wanted to thank you once again for all your hard work and effort and for making my dream of going to China come true. I had an absolute blast.

You did a great job! Thanks again.

Jason X.

2008 Summer Program

Here's a belated THANKS for inviting me to go on this wonderful program. Every time I tell someone about it, I get so excited. You, Sallie, and the staff made me feel so welcomed. I truly appreciate the wonderful opportunity you gave me and hope to see you again soon. I am busily recruiting many of my TOP co-workers to apply for this great program next year.

The management of the school was WONDERFUL! Everything was well balanced. There was never a dull moment. Every minute was put to good use.

I really enjoyed how the school tried to cater to our western taste yet still introduced local dishes to us. Excellent! The accommodation was excellent! 4 star hotel! It was great! I enjoyed all the cities we toured. My favorite city was Guilin by far. Pictures don't do it justice. The service of the tour guide was very informative and pleasant.

Mary L. From California

2008 Summer Program