Jan Shattock, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

“I have taught in China for many years on this program. It is well organized, welcoming, and provides a marvelous opportunity for teachers in Australia to learn about China.”

Michelle Barker, Adelaide, South Australia

“I have participated in the JESIE program for four years now and completed six placements across Jiangsu province in that time. I value this program because it offers me the opportunity to be involved in so many unique and rewarding experiences on both a professional and a personal level. In each placement the host school has ensured that support has been in place for daily transportation, meals, comfortable accommodation, teaching arrangements, and local cultural experiences. I always find that the Chinese teachers are eager to share cultural and teaching knowledge through a two-way exchange of ideas and practices. The program has also afforded me the opportunity to develop many friendships with both the Chinese teachers and other foreign teachers. I gain so much new knowledge and growth as both an educator and learner from my time in China and look forward to returning each year.”

Wanda Ross, Georgia, United States

“As I reflect on the Jiangsu Teachers Training Project as a proud member of the JESIE Team, Xuzhou Team, and the Yunlong District Kindergarten Team, I now truly understand the true meaning of a TEAM, Together Everyone Achieves More. If I had to use one word to describe my 2019 Summer experience, it would be the word “harmony” because of my/our Yunlong District Kindergarten Team of 30 Teachers.  Their excitement and willingness to learn and share taught me the true depth of how much kindergarten teachers care and love each of their young learners.

Kindergarten teachers utilize their love for art, music, and dance to create a positive and fun learning environment. As an American kindergarten teacher, I shared the importance of introducing English at an early age through books, songs, poems, nursery rhymes, and counting from 1 to 100.  Although the Yunlong District Kindergarten Team was together briefly for only two weeks this summer, our learning and togetherness will last and impact a lifetime of future generations of eager Chinese learners.  I am confident that their school year will be an awesome year of sharing, teaching, and learning.  Go and Grow Kindergarten Team!!!”

Judith Joy, Melbourne, Australia.

“I have taught in China a few times, every time I go to China I learn something new. We can learn a lot from each other’s culture and different ways of teaching and learning.”

Dr. Penelope Goward, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

“I had a fabulous time. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, and I’ve met lots of interesting people and made new friends in China. I learned a lot about China and the education system too.”

Jasmina Fogarty, United States.

“This is the first time I have worked with Aussies. We had some fascinating conversations over the dinner table each night about how Americans and Australians have different ways of thinking and doing stuff. We may be all westerners, but each country expresses it differently.”

Elizabeth Powell, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

“In July 2019 I was fortunate enough to be part of the JESIE team in China.  The organization prior to, during, and after the trip was excellent.  Echo was always available to give support and information.  I spent a wonderful two weeks at the the Gaoxing No. 1 Experimental Primary School at Taizhou.  Accommodation and meals were arranged by the hosts at the Yuluxe Hotel, which was very close to the school. The time with my wonderful group of students was enhanced by the delightful and capable translator, Ronnie, and my monitor, Tina.  These ladies ensured I was collected each morning and returned to the hotel each afternoon;  they also made sure I was ‘fed and watered’ during the day – even though my complaints of too much food fell on deaf ears!! If you have the opportunity to be part of the program, grab it with both hands.  You’re ensured of a wonderful experience!”

Marcus Pernell, Fort Mitchell, Alabama, United States

“My experience with the JESIE is one of the best experiences of my life. Being able to travel to another country to help share my experience of my native language, China was the best place to go to help people expand on what they already knew. Each person that had any hand in the teaching experience in China did an excellent job and deserves to be recognized for that effort. This experience has improved my cultural educational understanding to be the most important aspect of life. To be able to share our ideas is awesome.”

Dr. Tina Howlett, Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States

“In the summer of 2019, I had the unforgettable experience of participating in the JESIE Cultural Exchange Program. A colleague and former graduate student had recommended the program to me, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to share my professional knowledge and expertise in the field of TESOL with the Chinese teachers. Through the JESIE program, I was able to explore and learn about China in a way that books and a professional career could never reveal. Meeting new international friends and colleagues invigorated my commitment to understanding other people and cultures, and I look forward to returning in the future!”

Julie Millar, Tauranga, New Zealand

“Participating in the 2019 JESIE program is one of the best things I’ve ever done despite having never travelled to Asia before. I received guidance with the documentation, was met at the airport, and toured the ancient city of Nanjing before meeting my local hosts and translators. The two-week teaching adventure was packed with smiles and laughter, challenges and exploration where I learnt as much as my students did. The interculturalism in my tertiary teaching back home has broadened and deepened as a result of this rich experience. Sign me up for 2020!”

Barris Harms, Tacoma, Washington, United States

“I am so grateful I had a chance to participate in the JESIE program this past summer. It truly was the experience of a lifetime for me. From the very first day, we learned about the history and unique culture of China with some tours arranged for us by our hosts. It was an unexpected benefit. I also had the chance to work with some highly skilled and wonderful people on my team. They shared many things with me that will definitely help me improve my teaching skills. The transportation, meals, and accommodations provided by JESIE were excellent.

My experience was even better once we got to the school that hosted us. The administration arranged a wonderful welcome for us. They attended to all our needs in a timely fashion and supplied great support throughout the entire time we were there. Our administrators took care to elicit our feedback and made every effort to make changes when needed.

Finally, my students were totally dedicated to improving their English skills and learning Western teaching technics. They also shared many things about their lives and experiences that gave me a new perspective on the world. Their professionalism and kindness made me very sorry we couldn’t spend more time together. I would love the opportunity to do it all again.”

Rachel Gerner, Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States

“Teaching with JESIE was an incredible experience. Not only did I develop skills as a teacher trainer, but I met some of the kindest, most generous people I’ve encountered in my global travels. I learned many TEFL skills and methods from both the Chinese teachers I taught as well as the international teacher partners who participated in the program. Exploring Nanjing and my placement city, trying new foods, and getting a glimpse of authentic Chinese culture have given me a deeper appreciation for the value of international partnerships as well as lifelong memories.” 

Adrian Ruffhead, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

“My first experience of doing teacher training in China with JESIE was in 2017 when I was assigned to a school in Nanjing. Since then I have been back twice, and this year I was assigned to a training centre in the city of Huai’an, training about 24 teachers for the first two weeks of the programme.

During the two weeks I got to see some of the life in the city. I visited the old city, was taken to some local restaurants, went to a supermarket, and got to try an electric fitness skateboard gadget (!) I was also able to have a go at my now favourite pastime in China, taking part in fitness line dancing that they do everywhere in public squares and parks in the warm evenings. It’s a great social activity and great way to meet the people of the city and get fit.

It is quite a full programme, but the day ends at around 4:30, and you can do what you want in the evenings. It is very rewarding, so I am hoping to go back in 2020.”

Marshawna Williams, Portland, Oregon, United States

“Going into the JESIE program, I did not know what to expect. It was not going to be my first time to China but my first time to Jiangsu. The senior coordinator was amazing and made is very easy for me to prepare for my arrival in Jiangsu. Once placed in Suqian, I quickly fell in love with the culture, food, and of course the teachers. The two weeks flew by, but by the end of the program, I discovered I learned just as much from the teachers as much as they learned from me. JESIE gave me a teaching experience unlike any other and I can’t wait to come back next year.”

Sue McGregor, Oxley, Victoria, Australia

“Acting as an English trainer for JESIE program was a very rewarding experience. My classroom was full of enthusiastic and receptive English teachers. Each day they met the challenges of different approaches to teaching English and shared their own experiences for all of us to learn new ideas. The classroom was well equipped with technology, and a technician was always close by to help when needed. The day was always busy but enjoyable. My three carers were wonderfully hospitable, kind, and friendly and ensured my two weeks were full of new experiences.  I would highly recommend this experience to others.”

Elena Pomare, Tauranga, New Zealand

“My experience on the cultural exchange to Jiangsu was great.  Prior to leaving, Echo was instrumental in alleviating any concerns and was always forthcoming with information.  I was able to talk about the programme with a colleague as well who had completed it previously, and this helped to put my mind at ease.  The curriculum we were given had a wealth of information and lesson plans to guide my teaching. 

I was lucky enough to be placed in a small city with hosts who were so kind, thoughtful, and hospitable.  They couldn’t do enough for us and were always caring and generous.  I think I had the best food of my life while staying at the hotel.  The students in my class were amazing.  They tried their best and taught me a lot more than I think I taught them! 

Overall, if anyone is considering taking part in this programme, I would highly recommend it.  If you go with an open mind to new, exciting experiences and learning about other cultures, you will be amazed at the learning and personal development you can reflect on and use moving forward.  I learnt about being patient and tolerant to different learning styles and cultural differences and that most of all, we are much more alike than we think!” 

Jennifer & Tony Waldron, Victoria, Australia

“My wife Jenny and I had the pleasure and joy of teaching English with JESIE over three years for four weeks each time. The organization of the program was very good, and the care for us at each position was excellent. The issued teaching guide was very helpful and had plenty of ideas, and the participants were eager to have a go. Any books you want to use and physical resources need to be obtained and prepared in advance, and then there are some final preparations done in the evenings at the hotel. However, there is good time for lovely evening meals in small private hotel dining rooms with our translators and school officials as well as amazing tours of local sites and sights at the weekend. We had many wonderful times. I would recommend JESIE to anyone suited to teaching spoken English.”

“Teaching English to enthusiastic Chinese teachers of English was a great experience professionally and culturally. Armed with resources from Australia and a suggested curriculum written by Canadians, I was able to very easily fill ten days of activities to demonstrate various methodologies for teaching English as a Second Language. My husband was also part of the program, which meant we could share resources and ideas when at our placements in China.

Our accommodation was very comfortable, with air-conditioning to enable sleeping through the hot nights. Our hosts spoke English and acted as capable interpreters and guides to ensure we were safe and to make meal times and cultural outings great fun. Nothing seemed too much trouble for them.

Besides a variety of delicious foods, we were treated to tours of Nanjing, walks through wildlife sanctuaries, a tour of an underground Buddhist Temple, a mountain climb through an amazing bamboo forest, a cable car ride, and much more. These wonderful experiences were shared with our generous hosts. I sincerely recommend JESIE cultural Exchange. “

Joanne Spod, Tauranga, New Zealand

“Kia ora & Ni hao! As a first-timer on the JESIE 2019 programme, I was assigned to a centre in Jiangdu with another kiwi returnee. My group of teachers were senior high school teachers of English, and we spent two enjoyable weeks together sharing ideas, language and culture, and teaching strategies, discovering both differences and similarities between teaching styles, methods, and classroom environments. I found the JESIE programme looked after us incredibly well from start to finish, including great communication and support during the lead-up to the programme, the orientation weekend on arrival, and also the follow-up phase. I recommend the experience, which is bound to fill your kete (woven bag) with cultural knowledge, new experiences and friendships.”

Kalem Banks, Tauranga, New Zealand

“There are so many positive things to say about this program: the cultural exchange, the opportunity to experience China very intimately, the international colleagues you meet, the close connections you make with the members of your class, not to mention the growth in your own teaching practices from this experience – there are only good things to say! If you have this opportunity, take it – you will love it, and you won’t forget it! “

Dr. Keanna Ralph, New Jersey, United States

“Participating in the JESIE training program 2019 was one of the most impactful teaching experiences for me. While my goal was to help transform the lives of the student-teachers, I found that I too was transformed in the process. I learned a great deal about the Chinese culture, but, more importantly, I felt the love and compassion of the many individuals I had the pleasure of meeting during my time there. My heart was touched in ways I would have never imagined. I still can’t stop talking about it and have already inspired others to want to be a part of the program in the future. “

Dr. Adrienne Wynn, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

“The JESIE cultural exchange program allowed me to provide Chinese teachers of mathematics research-based strategies and pedagogical skills. We offered each other critical analysis in math practices and had an engaging educational-cultural experience. The beauty of Yangzhou, the interaction with the local people, and the amazing array of food was phenomenal. I will remember and cherish these moments forever. Thank you, JESIE, for the opportunity.”

Dianetha Moodley, Orkland, New Zealand

“ My decision to join the JESIE Project in 2019 has proven to be one of the best in terms of professional development, personal growth and experience, and cultural enrichment.  Initial feelings of trepidation around the language barrier, magnitude and density of China and the population, public facilities, and participating in the cultural exchange proved to be unfounded.  Prior to departure, Echo assisted with my visa application and queries related to the teacher training programme and the school I would be based at.  As the JESIE Coordinator, Echo Ying was professional and efficient and helped allay my concerns.

“On arrival in China, I found the programme well-organised. My hosts at the local training centre were welcoming, attentive, and supportive with excellent resources.   The students were motivated and participated at a high level.  I was able to be efficient and productive in my role as I felt welcomed, relaxed, and supported by the organisers, my hosts, and my students. 

“Accommodation, entertainment, and meals were of exceptional quality, and I wanted for nothing.  I felt comfortable and at home.  I had an enjoyable and positive experience on my maiden JESIE adventure and hope to return!”

Dr. Niesha Douglas, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

“The JESIE program is life changing. The program allows you to meet people from around the world. You are able to have not only a cultural exchange but also an exchange of knowledge with roots of one common goal. That goal is to provide effective ways to engage students while providing learning tools and pedagogical practices to Chinese teachers. My time was in Baoying. The teachers there were so friendly, and they were very attentive. This program is perfect for educators who want to see how their influence is appreciated in other cultures. I can’t wait to participate again next year!”

Tia Kapene, Tauranga, New Zealand

“ I had an amazing experience with the JESIE SUMMER TEACHING PROGRAM 2019.  For two weeks I was placed in the town of Jianhu at the Jianhu Teachers Development Training Centre with a class of Junior High School math teachers.  I went there with a focus of modeling Western teaching methodologies, but the more time we learnt from each other, the focus changed to developing strategies into lesson plans that took math out of the textbook and into real life experiences. The people, culture, food, and hospitality were amazing the entire time and are something I think all teachers should experience once in their lifetime.”

Dr. Keith Gregor, Tauranga, New Zealand

“As a marine biologist residing in New Zealand, the thought of teaching in a highly populous part of China in a completely unfamiliar cultural environment provided a heady mix of trepidation and anticipation. Having arrived safely in Shanghai, I began to meet my fellow teachers, and that’s when the fun began. Reflecting on this cultural exchange, I enjoyed meeting a huge variety of volunteer teachers, some first timers like me, others seasoned campaigners happy to share experiences and contacts. At my teaching site I was very well looked after with great accommodation, delicious food, interesting and thought-provoking cultural excursions, and welcoming and engaged student teachers and their support staff. It was unique to be in a foreign country but be able to meet and connect daily with local teachers and gain a real understanding of their lives and perspectives. I was challenged in the classroom and had to be creative, flexible, and think on my feet, which I enjoyed. It was an action-packed two- week JESIE program which I was very pleased to have been a part of, and I hope to participate again in the future.”

Patsy Williams, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

“The two weeks in China was absolutely amazing. Prior to arriving I had spoken to two previous attendees who provided me with some good background information, so I felt I had a good idea of what to expect, but the reality surpassed my expectations in all aspects. The students were welcoming and enthusiastic, so we had a lot of fun in the classroom: singing, playing games, sharing stories, practising lots of English, trying new teaching strategies, and laughing together. During the two weeks we formed a close relationship and great memories that I will cherish forever.”   

Andrew Chapman, Tauranga, New Zealand

“In July 2019 I was privileged to be part of the of the JESIE Teach in Jiangsu program. This was a wonderful opportunity, and I am very glad that I took it. The program was very well organised, and the accommodation, food, and working conditions were all excellent. I would highly recommend the program for two key reasons: First,  there is no better way to experience Chinese lifestyle and culture than to work alongside Chinese teachers. This is not the kind of experience you will get as a tourist or an independent traveler. Living and working within a community, even for a short time, gives an opportunity to experience China in a unique way, and Chinese hospitality is second to none. Second, the JESIE program is a great way to extend your teaching experience and develop as a teaching professional. For two weeks I worked alongside experienced Chinese teachers who were all passionate about education and keen to share and discuss ideas. There was an added bonus of meeting and sharing with teachers from all over the globe. I am very glad I joined the program in 2019, have no hesitation in recommending it, and look forward to attending again in future years.”

Carol Moseley, Georgia, United States

“This experience of service with JESIE was one of the most dynamic encounters I’ve had as an instructor anywhere in the world.  From the first day of my arrival, I was treated with the utmost respect and honor befitting a guest. Echo, my coordinator, was relentless in her abilities to make everything as smooth as possible for all of her crew. The hotel arrangements, the scheduling, and the planning for the welcome weekend activities was simply spectacular.

Secondly, the entire staff and faculty at the host school were tremendously welcoming. They provided resources, a great hotel, and two amazing assistants to aid the teachers in any endeavor. I never felt more at ease and welcomed in this new environment. Additionally, I was eager to meet my teacher students and to work in cooperation with them on learning techniques and strategies we could explore together. I also knew that collectively our shared practices would benefit not only them but me. The teachers and I had the most interesting, intriguing, and fun filled sessions which left us most days exhausted, but enlightened. The teachers were always asking questions, taking notes, and participating at every given moment.

At the end of our two weeks, it was clear that we had all gone through a marvelous encounter of learning amidst our two cultures and more importantly our newfound friendships.”