English Teacher, Qilu Normal University, Jinan City, China
Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language
A personal interest in Chinese language and culture drew Toby Games to AUT’s Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language. As part of his degree he spent six months in China on a student exchange programme, and says the experience was life-changing.
“The Bachelor of Arts degree suited me well, and the facilities at AUT are excellent. The highlight of my studies was going on a student exchange to Jinan University in China in my second year at AUT,” says the AUT alumnus.
Workplace experience is part of most AUT degrees, and it was this that helped Toby get a foot in the door when it came to starting his career.
“For my third-year workplace experience, I worked for a restaurant company that has operations in New Zealand and China.
“I learned about trading rules and regulations, and was sent to Shanghai for three weeks to give their restaurant a New Zealand makeover. This experience opened doors for me and I made valuable contacts.”
An exciting career
After graduating from AUT at the end of 2016, Toby currently works as an English teacher at Qilu Normal University in Jinan City, China.
“I’m employed as an English teacher at Qilu Normal University, teaching university students who are training to be teachers.”
While teaching certainly keeps him busy, Toby is also working on a number of other exciting projects.
“Another project I’m working on is looking into the possibility of opening a cooking school to teach European cooking here. I’m also involved in setting up a new International ‘English Village’ here in Jinan, based on a model in South Korea. My role is to recruit staff and design the curriculum.”
Learning a language takes time and practice, he says, and the challenge of a different alphabet and culture can be daunting.
Toby, who was a prize-winner in the Confucius Institute Chinese speaking competition while he was studying at AUT, says he is proof that you can succeed.
“Focus on one semester at a time, and know that slow and steady wins the race.”