Danielle Barrett and James Bamber enjoy a meal out with the family they met on the Study China programme.
Danielle Barrett, Edge Hill University Early Years PGCE student, and James Bamber, Physics student at The University of Manchester, with the family they met during their recent Study China visit.

A newly-qualified teacher is looking forward to securing a job in her chosen profession after an educational trip to China, funded by Edge Hill University’s Student Opportunity Fund.

Danielle Barrett, who completed her Early Years PGCE at the University in July, took part in the Study China programme which saw a group of students spend three weeks in Hangzhou studying Mandarin and Chinese culture.

The 29-year-old from South Manchester jumped at the chance to take part in the visit, supported by the University’s Student Opportunity Fund which provides financial support for those taking part in activities which enhance employability.

Danielle said: “I’ve always wanted to visit China so it was a great experience, an amazing opportunity to see such a different culture.
 
“The language barrier was difficult but it gave me an insight into what it’s like for some of the children I’ve taught who have English as an additional language.”

Danielle spent a day with a Chinese family during her trip, helping to cook a traditional meal and reading with the children.

“As a teacher I felt that experiencing a different culture would be really beneficial,” she added. “A lot of schools want to teach Mandarin these days so I’ve got a head-start in that now.
 
“I hope having taken part in this trip I will stand out when I’m applying for work.”

Danielle plans to take the HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) in December and is looking forward to putting her new skills to the test when she secures her first teaching job.

Jackie Sumner, Early Years PGCE Pathway Leader, said: “Danielle has practical work experience working with children who speak English as an additional language; I am sure her trip to China will have expanded her knowledge and understanding of other cultures which will be hugely beneficial in this context.
 
“Danielle is an exemplary student and the experience she has now gained will increase her chances of employment as well as giving her an advantage in gaining her initial teaching post.”

Undergraduates and PGCE students at Edge Hill University can apply to the Student Opportunity Fund for up to £2,000 to support a career-enhancing project, initiative or opportunity which enriches their university experience and enables them to stand out in a competitive environment.