Hi! My name is Mariana Monteiro, I am 19 years old, I’m from Brazil and I’m an International Relations’ student. I’ve always wanted to do volunteers jobs, but I was never quite sure where to start, and so, I decided to begin with China, a country that has a culture way different from mine and that would be a really challenge for me. I must admit that when I first arrived in Shanghai I was scared by almost everything; the city was huge, I didn’t know the language, and the whole culture was new to me. However, I kept my mind opened and everything worked out just fine. I spent 7 weeks teaching English at the Creativity Kindergarten, an amazing place with a peaceful atmosphere in the middle of the loud Shanghai. I had three different classes everyday with kids from 3 to 4 years old, and although the language was a barrier in the beginning, I ended up managing to develop methods to talk with the kids. They really were the best part of everything, always willing to learn and to participate, teach them and see their progress gave me a feeling of satisfaction that nothing else could make me have. It was a truly amazing experience!

After the kindergarten I always had plenty of time to discover Shanghai, either by myself or with the other volunteers in the flat. It was awesome to have the opportunity to meet people from all around the world, and make friends that I know that I’ll keep even after the staying in Shanghai. I also made some Shanghai friends that I hope I’ll visit again in the future. During my stay I also visited other places, like Beijing, Suzhou and Huzhou, and although some of them are quite far, is very easy to move around in China and that is never really a problem. The people who work at XuBo are also an important help, they always do everything they can to make your life here easier and your experience unforgettable. I will definitely miss my life here once I’m back to my everyday life in Brazil, I met really nice people, discovered amazing places and had awesome experiences. These 7 weeks passed extremely quickly and I hope I’ll come back here someday. Thanks for the memories, China!