Many come to China as an English teacher, but few come to China as an Educational Ambassador (EA). So, what is an EA?
“My role as an educational ambassador has given me the opportunity to advance intercultural communication and make a difference in the public schools of China." – Belem Lamas, ‘17
Ameson provides you with tools to help bring out the best teacher in you, however when you come to China, you bring your desire to be a cultural ambassador and to globalize the world; a job that never truly ends if we continue to interact with our world.
"What separated [AYC] from other programs is that it seemed to be more focused on the cultural exchange, and making sure that you had a cultural experience…and just the idea that you are encouraged to really be culturally immersed and that you’re not just there to teach.” – Adrienne Losch, ‘15
I had the hardest time grasping the concept when I first came to China almost two and a half years ago. For me, I was focused heavily on being just the best teacher I could and little about the ambassadorship of this program. Towards the end of my first year, I began to grasp this concept a bit more. Our teaching job is part time because the other part of our job is to experience as much as we can. It’s much different from teachers who work in other programs or training centers where they have a higher income but less cultural experience.
While paying bills (student loans ☹), saving, and preparing for career or educational advancement are very important, we can also try to make the most of this opportunity that is being afforded to us. If you are from the US, there are many ways where we can defer our loan payments or go on an income based repayment plan that can help alleviate the stresses associated with graduation.
You can quote me on this, but living in China will be the most amazing experience and the most difficult experience. We are forcing ourselves to learn how to adjust, face challenges, and bridge cultures in an immersion experience, but in the end, it will be all worth it. Each day we will know that we brought something special and that we have impacted and changed the world whether we are teaching in a small town to a big city.
Being an EA is a unique experience that allows you to be both a teacher and a participant in a global adventure. Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed when put our entire heart into our jobs and sometimes we forget about the ambassador portion of our job title. When we sign up with Ameson and AYC, we come to China not only to achieve professional development but to also have an experience of a lifetime.
As we exit the honeymoon period, face burn out, or are looking at joining the program it’s important to remember that our jobs are more than just being teachers but also being taught. To reach out to other teachers, both Chinese nationals and foreign teachers alike, and people in the communities to make the most of the cultural experiences that are being offered to us as soon as we stepped off the plane for orientation.
What adventures are awaiting you? Apply now!
Whether with AYC or not, what have been some of your adventures in China? Share with us below.