An Experience With The Buckland Group And China

Hello, my name is Joshua Baynes and I have been teaching in China with my girlfriend Tara Jonasson for almost two months. So far, the experience has been great. The Chinese people are some of the friendliest folks that you'll ever meet.

Our experience with the Buckland Group began six-months ago. We had finished our TESOL course in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with a company called International TESOL. We had been mailing applications all over the world and had some good prospects from a few different places. We were still deciding where to go when we received our monthly newsletter from International TESOL. One of the articles in the newsletter highly recommended an educational group in China called the Buckland Group; they also happened to be on our list of good prospects. We immediately started serious correspondence. After a few letters to and from the Buckland Group we saw that the recommendation was well deserved. Owen and Jennifer Buckland both spoke great English and were always there to answer all of our questions and alleviate all of our concerns. I loved the fact that I was always speaking directly to the heads of the company. After a few weeks of correspondence Tara and I had signed contracts and were preparing for our trip to China.

When we arrived at the airport in Guilin, China, there was a person to pick us up and drive us to the hotel very near the Buckland Group's offices. They took care of everything and let us have a few days to relax and sleep off the jetlag. They made the transition as smooth as I think it possibly could have been.

We spent a total of four days in beautiful Guilin and then headed for our school in the Sichuan province. The Buckland's took care of all the travel plans and hade a person to escort us on the journey, very helpful since we didn't speak a word of Chinese! We arrived at PingChang Middle School and were greeted by the school leaders, English teachers, and two students with huge bouquets of flowers for us. They were all so kind and understanding, and let us have a week to settle into our apartment before we started teaching. All of the promises that the Buckland group had made were stood by. The apartment is brand new with all of the things that we need to live comfortably.
Like I said, the experience has been great so far. Of course there were some things that we needed to get used to, but if you're a person who enjoys the differences of a new place, China is a good place to be. The food is very tasty, although there are some dishes that you certainly would not see in North America. It took a couple of weeks for our stomachs to adjust, but I think that is something that can be said when traveling to any new place. The students here are amazingly dedicated and interested in learning. I feel lazy sometimes because they go to school for fifteen hours a day, and my longest day is six! I had many friend that asked me if I was crazy, "Why are you going to be a teacher", they said "don't you remember how we were in school?". I can now officially say that the students here are nothing like the hell-raisers of many North American schools. The students here really want to be in school, and I have not yet to have a problem with disrespectful students.

Well, to wrap it all up, if you are thinking of coming to teach in China, I'll tell you now that things are very different here in many respects. If you are looking for a change and a challenge this is the place to be, and the Buckland Group are the people that you want to deal with.

Joshua Baynes


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