My name is Bryce. I’m from the United States. Following my time as an ESL teacher at York in Fuzhou from 2011 to 2014, I went back to school to obtain a master’s degree in clinical psychology and I am currently a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology.
I most recently worked at Children’s National conducting neuropsychological evaluations and individual and family therapy for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. This fall I will be working within the public school system, providing individual, family and group therapy to underserved children and families of multicultural backgrounds.
Which branch were you at? What roles did you have during your time with us?
I worked at the Xi Hu branch in Fuzhou as an ESL teacher and a then Senior Teacher.
Why did you decide to teach English overseas in the first place?
I wanted to travel abroad after graduating from undergrad, and I had always wanted to visit China. I chose to work at York because they seemed reliable, were managed by foreigners who had been through the process of relocating to China themselves, and because I wanted to work with children.
Can you tell us of any fond memories you have about your time working as an ESL teacher at York English?
The collaborative atmosphere, the group dinners, the fantastic teaching assistants (TAs) and all of my students. I still stay in touch with one of my T.A.s on WeChat and even helped her to get a visa to come visit me in the US. Some of my students stay in touch with me via email too!
Can you tell us of any fond memories you have about your time living in China?
When I first arrived in China, the driver was late because he had bought a new car (ribbon still attached) and got stuck in traffic! Not speaking a word of Mandarin, I managed to mime to a friendly stranger that I needed them to call a number. A very apologetic Cody (the Vice President) answered and explained they were on their way and a few minutes later a sprinting Tom (the Curriculum and Content Developer) came to grab my bags!
The excitement did not end there, as the driver was blasting club music and somehow managed to have a tv show of cars with half naked pretty girls modeling on top of them playing on his car’s screen! Eventually we got to my new flat where I was greeted by a jet lagged flatmate and unpacked before passing out!
The remainder of my time in China did not disappoint either, and it was always entertaining to say the least. School trips were a blast. Learning to speak Chinese and walk safely across the street with all the e-bikes were steep learning curves, but everyone was incredibly supportive and helpful in the process.
What specific skills do you feel you learnt during your time with us? How have they helped you in your life after York?
As an ESL teacher, I learned how to teach and manage a classroom. These skills actually are super helpful now that I am a psychologist in training as they help me to communicate better with and understand the demands on teachers and what are realistic interventions that can be put in place within classrooms. Learning how to navigate and live in another culture has also helped me to work from a more multicultural perspective and have lots of empathy for the acculturation process.
How do you feel your time living overseas and teaching English changed you/help you develop as a person or career wise?
Living overseas helped me to become more patient and flexible, and it also helped me to experience different customs. Having to adapt to another culture is both an exciting and an exhausting process. I also feel that traveling, interacting with other foreigners and locals helped me to grow as a person overall.
A big thank you to Bryce for taking the time to reminisce with us!