Friday, 3 October 2014

Up & On: Hong Kong.


Six months ago, I feared for my looming university deadlines and how much I wished for all the work to end. I still remember sleeplessly running into university with a suitcase full of sketchbooks; completely flustered and on the verge of passing out due to exhaustion. (There was only myself to blame) I also remember the relief of having so much spare time to relish on and the excitement of a four-day break to Dublin to celebrate, as well as our end-of-year degree show, Up & On to reflect on a year's worth of work. I still don't know how I managed. At all.

Degree show space. An accumulation of five projects.  Check out sowongdesign.com/ for a detailed look.
July welcomed doom's day aka results day where I refused to open my results for the first three hours. When I finally lapped up the courage, I was so grateful. I had it instilled in my mind that I hadn't done so well and I definitely had a little sob to my parents, the night before. I cannot tell you what a relief it was, to be happy with my result after a pretty stressful year. 

I spent a month at a local charity completing a visualising internship through the university's 'DMU Champions Internship Scheme' which was a lovely experience. The adverts I created for the organisation are now placed on Discovery Channel, which is pretty cool. Then came along my graduation ceremony. Racked with nerves, I strolled across the stage, too quickly if anything and received my certificate whilst my family cheered on and I peered at the audience. Big mistake. So. many. people. However, off I went with my Graphic Design BA (Hons) in hand. Hurraaah!

Hat disaster.
August said hello to my twenty second birthday and a month spent with my friends & family back in my home town. Moving out of Leicester still feels like an end of an era. Three years I spent in a city (third year spent a la Paris), and now I have no reason to ever return; I still find myself in the present day, having a nostalgic reminiscing moment about my four years as a student.

Where am I now? 

The spare time I was very much looking forward to at the time literally flew by and before I knew it, I've hopped on a plane and today marks a month anniversary since I arrived in Hong Kong. So, amongst the crazy havoc of university related happenings; how have I ended up 6,000 miles away from my hometown?

Blurry faced Paige, moi & an anti-social Sharon on the plane. First long haul flight, eek!
To cut a long story short, I had enrolled on a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course at the start of this year alongside my two university friends. To be honest, I can't even remember how the discussion came about but I remember one day, discussing how much I wanted to visit Hong Kong and how badly we didn't just want to sit at home as a post grad, struggling to find employment. I've always been eager to travel and we thought that this may be the perfect time/ opportunity- to earn a decent wage whilst experiencing something new and culturally. My parent's are from Hong Kong, unfortunately I had never had the chance to visit... Maybe I took the title of my degree show to heart.

Before I knew it, there were talks of making this possible. An overload of emails from the non-existent Alan from TEFL,  'It feels like the perfect time for a new beginning!' luring me into the idea of teaching English in a place where I really wanted to go to.

I paid the fee and months later, I endured a super long winded training weekend in London alongside fellow TEFL-ers, mid June. I was relatively drained after that weekend and questioning my abilities to actually teach a bunch of five year old Chinese kids. 20 hours of real-time training plus 120 hours of online grammar learning... all in the space of one month. Word of advice: Do not do the entire course in one month. Who knew there were so many forms of nouns? Not me.

My flight ticket was spontaneously booked in July and despite receiving my TEFL certificate/ qualification; it left me no guarantee of actually finding employment, and this manic journey can be deciphered into a post of its own. I feel like I need to save this story for another time, but I can safely say that it has not been an easy task. In fact, the battle for a job has literally been only half resolved as of the Tuesday just gone. I'm currently waiting upon approval for my visa application, so fingers crossed!

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