Omeida, Once Again
Marcus D. William
I can’t say that it’s just the scenic mountains and rivers that keep me coming back to Yangshuo. And I can’t say that it’s just the warm and welcoming locals, or the bustling nightlife of West Street that beckons me back. But I can say that I have returned to Yangshuo for my fourth summer because of Omeida and the memorable summers I’ve spent there.
While students and faculty at Omeida may change from summer to summer, I still see many familiar faces. It reassures me that the quality of the school has been maintained. One of my biggest pleasures as a teacher is watching some of my former students grow up into adults and marveling at their much-improved English language skills.
A constant here at Omeida is the diversity of life experience that exists among the foreign English faculty. Some are seasoned travelers who have taught English all over the world. There are those who have taught in Chinese public schools for more than 10 years at various grade levels and age groups. Each year I discover that some of the foreign English teachers have attended prestigious universities such as Oxford or Cambridge. Some are pursuing advanced degrees in various subjects such as software engineering and law. But above all, I have found many of them to be very outgoing with a willingness to share their experiences both inside and outside the classroom.
Similarly, the Chinese English teachers are also quite accomplished. Over the summers I have been at Omeida I’ve discovered that many of them are from various regions of China including Sichuan, Hunan, Guangdong, and Hubei provinces, as well as from large cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. Although many of these teachers have majored in English as undergraduates, others have had diverse academic experiences including law, speech therapy, and computer science among many others. All of their experiences are brought to the classroom to benefit the students. And, in turn, the students develop a close and affectionate relationship with their teachers.
For me, the most rewarding experience is in the classroom. I teach at the more advanced levels, and I find that the students are uniformly engaging and intelligent. They seem to take great joy in learning which is constantly displayed in their enthusiastic class participation.
These are but a few reasons why I keep returning to Omeida each summer. Omeida will always hold a special place in my heart and mind.