Adventures from across the pond

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At the beginning of your third year at university, everyone starts to ask the question “what are you going to do when you leave?” or “so what’s next then?”. What’s more, when you have yet to decide upon the answer to these questions it can get rather annoying, especially as you have at least another eight months left before you actually graduate! Since this is a question I couldn’t escape I thought I should start searching for some answers, once I had finished doing my washing and spring cleaning the flat, of course.

However, one day when my procrastination levels were at a high, I decided to venture into the careers library in attempt to stay clear of my dissertation work. It was in here I discovered about ‘Chatteris’ after eavesdropping into a conversation between two members of staff. As it turned out, this company were here at Lancaster University to present their graduate programme to the students. So to further my procrastination, I decided to venture along, anything to get me out of writing my dissertation!

When I look back now it was the best thing I ever did, and although I am not condoning procrastination, it worked well for me on this occasion. Chatteris is an international graduate programme where you are placed within schools in Hong Kong to promote the use of the English language. You are employed as a ‘CNET’ working as an informal tutor to the pupils. The programme gives you the option to choose which stage of education you would like to work with; either primary school, secondary school, or within a university. After the presentation I filled the short application form online and within two days was offered an interview via webcam. I was elated to learn a week later that I had been accepted. So from this point on, I could not wait for people to ask the that question and I took great delight in telling them my plans for the following year.

Jessica Stephens enjoyed every moment of her Chatteris experience

I was placed in an excellent school called Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School where I taught oral-based lessons, as well as managing a team of 30 higher-level students who were part of the English Ambassador Team.

Chatteris also offers cultural programmes, for example, working in conjunction with the Social Welfare Department helping young probationers or if drama is more you cup of tea then you can involve yourself with drama workshops which are held on Saturdays at different primary schools.

Aside from working as a CNET, living in Hong Kong was the best experience of my life. I made some amazing friends out there and learnt so much about the culture and the countries’ history and heritage. A truly enthralling and worthwhile experience!

If anyone is unsure about starting full-time work or postgraduate studies I would highly recommend Chatteris as new journey to embark on. Chatteris gives you the opportunity to live in a radical new environment, experience a culture like no other and is perfect for anyone seeking a unique adventure after graduation.

For more information, visit the website at www.chatteris.org.hk/home.

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