Geliza attended HCE Mentor program in Beijing from January 2015 until July 2015. Geliza graduated from Whatcom Community College, and looked forward to an opportunity to learn about the Chinese language and culture through immersion. Her host ran a kindergarten, and was happy to share educational ideas and practices with her.
Geliza’s host siblings couldn’t speak English very well at first, but they were quick studies. Geliza used games and playtime to help them enjoy learning, especially roleplays and acting. She also taught them English songs, which helped improve their skills through repetition, to the point where they understood the lyrics perfectly. They also enjoyed working on arts and crafts projects together.
Geliza enjoyed living in a city as large as Beijing, especially because of its convenient public transportation, which allowed her a great deal of freedom in exploring on her own. Beijing has almost 20 subway lines with more under construction, and she took advantage of that fact to see many famous and interesting places. She was never afraid of getting lost, because most young people in Beijing speak English at an intermediate level and there are many other foreign residents to ask for help. Geliza took full advantage of her days off, exploring Beijing’s famous hutong alleys, the 798 art district, and the rich variety of authentic local restaurants. She was glad to have experienced HCE as a mentor, and recommended it to other young Americans interested in experiencing life in a different culture.Back to all stories