Despite studying abroad in Beijing, Ben’s time as a language student could not prepare him for what he was about to learn from HIS students. From the hottest bloggers to the trials they faced during the college entrance exam, his students shared their lives and culture with someone who thought he had scratched the surface of this modern Middle Kingdom.
As an Oral English teacher at China Foreign Affairs University, Ben is starting his second year at this post with many memorable experiences under his belt: from learning how to command a classroom of some of China’s brightest undergrads to making government officials recite tongue twisters, there are several lessons he cannot wait to introduce to his new students.
When he’s not teaching, he’s putting his type-A personality to good use: on weekends he interns at a private kitchen that hosts dinners and teaches Chinese cooking classes. (For those PiA’ers or Friends of PiA coming through Beijing, he’s pretty good at making dumplings and Kung Pao chicken!) Along with his culinary exploits, Ben has also worked over the year with The Dandelion School, an institution that educates the children of migrant workers. His biggest achievement has been empowering his students to volunteer their limited time to teaching children at this school.
In addition to teaching, Ben is also excited about spending his second year working with Chi Fan for Charity and the Dandelion School. He also hopes to put his Spring Festival holiday to good use by trekking down to Yunnan and South East Asia.