4 weeks spent in Macau on the MEET 2018 program. This is MEET’s second year running and another successful program for the Edinburgh-based teachers and the Macanese students! Around 20 tutors from Edinburgh taught in three different schools across the Chinese state of Macau. Lessons focussed on conversational English topics to enhance the students’ understanding of English with native speakers. Topics included: international cuisine, studying abroad, international travel, basic world economics, product design and anatomy! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would encourage volunteers to take part next year – it’s also a great way to see a part of Asia – going to Hong Kong at the weekends was certainly a highlight!
After arriving in Macau we had a few days to get our bearings and explore the city before classes started on Monday! We visited the old Ruins of St. Pauls, the Portuguese old town, the Macau Museum, views from Guia hill and the bay near the ferry terminal from Hong Kong.
We got to know our fellow teachers on the program and went out to authentic Macanese restaurants to try the local delicacies. Free time was spent socking up the sun at Hac Sa beach at the weekend and exploring the many grand casinos. The first week, classes got off to a great start after building rapport with our students. One of our students even invited us around to his grandparents’ house for a huge family dinner!
We spent three weeks teaching conversational style English to our group of students to get them used to practical situations and topics they wouldn’t necessarily have covered in their standard English lessons throughout school. We loved exchanging aspects of our different cultures and our topics ranged from international travel, to food, to overseas universities and studying abroad. In the last week the children were tasked with creating their own poster projects about studying abroad at a university of their choice, using the practical information we had taught them the previous two weeks. Lessons were broken up with fun games and activities to keep them active, and the children even taught us a few classical Chinese board games!
Some evenings were spent strolling though the vast city of Macau and marvelling at the dozens of gigantic casinos and hotels that give Macau it’s nickname of the ‘gambling capital of the east’! Away from the busy streets we came across tranquil gardens and pagodas – a quiet oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Our first weekend off was spent exploring the city of Hong Kong, and boy did we pack a lot in! Man Mo Temple, Causeway bay, Kowloon night lights show, central financial district, hiking up Victoria Peak, and navigating the complicated boat and MTR underground system!
After the final presentation afternoon, where all the classes presented their final projects to the whole cohort (accompanied by all MEET staff and joined by members of the Macanese consulate!), we all celebrated a successful 3 weeks teaching in the famous Macau SkyBar with magnificent views across the city!