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Summer Outreach in China - Xi'an

Summer Outreach in China - Xi'an

Inspired to volunteer on a Summer Outreach project in China? With International Volunteer HQ’s Summer Outreach volunteers are able to assist with English lessons for students during the school holidays in July and August. Often the students in these classes far outnumber the teachers and volunteers can help lighten the load and greatly improve the quality of education on offer while they share valuable English language skills.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from £277 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Make learning English fun for students on summer holiday programs

  • Try northern China’s delicious spicy cuisine

  • Stay with other volunteers or in a homestay in ancient Xi’an

'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

Key information

Improves access to quality education
Based in villages in northern China
Local hostel or homestay accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from £277 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 24 weeks
Visit the famed Terracotta Warriors
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Confident, self-motivated volunteers who will thrive in an environment where English is not widely spoken. Experience or TEFL training will be a big advantage but is not required.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

During the school holidays in July and August, Summer Outreach programs aim to keep students learning. Outreach programs typically operate with students aged between 10-18, with up to 30-40 students per class and few teachers. Volunteers can give local teachers a hand and improve the standard of education, especially in English classes.

As a Summer Outreach volunteer you’ll help to run the class, taking responsibility for planning and implementing lessons. Most students have only a basic understanding of English so you can expect to be teaching simple words and phrases, with a focus on teaching correct pronunciation. These lessons are less bound by a school curriculum, and you’re able to be flexible and creative in lesson plans and teaching style.

Teaching volunteer work can vary but generally includes:

  • Teaching English language classes
  • Lesson planning
  • Helping with language skills and pronunciation
  • Talking and connecting with students
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Summer Outreach Teaching volunteering in Xi'an with IVHQ?

While volunteering on the Summer Outreach project in China, you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving access to quality education
  • Helping students learn English
  • Developing your cross-cultural communication skills
  • Gaining teaching experience
  • Immersing yourself fully in the Chinese culture
  • Discovering the relics of China’s long history

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply For Free

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

PL
Paul Lehoczky
08 May 2024

I feel I gained some perspective towards the world. I've always been a sort of "home town" guy. So it was really interesting and exciting to go somewhere vastly different from my own country. And to interact with the society I was in, in a way other than a pure tourist.

...
CR
Cornelius Riordan
20 Mar 2024

I gained a better perspective of the world, different cultures, perhaps a little about human nature and maybe myself. Volunteering with IVHQ has the added benefit of bringing you away from the overtly "touristy" areas which you would normally find yourself in on a normal holiday. Particularly in China, the difference between rural and urban is immense, and this is a great opportunity to not only make a difference, or to see the world, but to get a more full view of the culture you're immersing yourself in.

...
VL
Valerie Lau
09 Feb 2024

It's been a humbling experience. The people made me remember that it only takes so little to make them happy. I'm looking forward to returning. Go with no expectations and you will be enriched. We embarked on the journey thinking we will teach them something but at the end of the day, I believed I received more. Expect minimal material comfort and leave the cosmopolitan and developed country mindset behind and you will enjoy it.

...
MM
Masriyani Binti Misri
16 Jan 2024

I'm delighted by the friendliness of the team - they are so helpful. Sometimes we need different environments to actually make us realise how fortunate our life is. It makes me more humble and more thankful for what I have. If you have the interest to try, then go ahead. It might turn your life around.

...
MZ
Mei Ming Zhao
10 Aug 2023

I loved volunteering! I enjoyed each day. It was a safe, comfortable, happy environment for work and living.

...
TX
Tracy Xu
30 May 2023

IVHQ is so reliable, they have wonderful local support team! I saw how my child grows to be more responsible and independent - it was a great memory for my daughter and I to share.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

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Volunteer Abroad in China with IVHQ

Location

In the middle of China lies the ancient city of Xi’an. It is home to many of IVHQ’s China projects as well as the legendary Terracotta Warriors and one end of the Silk Road. A popular stop on tourist trips to China, Xi’an has much to offer visitors including a rich cultural history and many hotels, restaurants and activities.

Other IVHQ projects are based an hour away in Weinan, an agricultural centre with stunning natural features like the five peaks of the breathtakingly steep Mt Huashan. Still more projects are set in the villages of the Shaanxi province, 1 to 4 hours drive from Xi’an. Volunteers will stay in accommodation near their placements.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of the month and volunteers need to arrive in Xi’an before 4pm on the Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (XIY). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Xi’an. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Sunday night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in China prior to your volunteer program, the local team can arrange for you to be picked up on the Sunday before your program begins.

Orientation is hosted by the China team at the volunteer house in Xi’an. Orientation is held on the Sunday evening, and your volunteer program begins the following day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in China – an introduction to China, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering, you will be taken to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays Typical volunteer days on the Teaching English and Special Needs Care projects are as follows:

7:30 - 8:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.
8:00 - 8:30 AM Travel to your placement to join local placement staff. Start time and daily workload depends on the project that you are participating on.
12:00 - 2:00 PM Lunch break. In China, all workplaces have a lunch break for about 2 hours in the afternoon. Some start earlier, some later. You are welcome to stay at your placement with the children or in the office. All placements will offer you food.
4:00 - 5:00 PM Work at your placement usually ends.
4:30 - 5:30 PM Dinner at your placement. You are free to travel back to your accommodation, sight-see or go shopping.

Weekends

During the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Xi’an and wider China. Popular tourist activities and destinations include visiting the Terracotta Warriors and Xi’an City Wall, travelling to Beijing or Shanghai, checking out Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace, walking the Great Wall of China, cycling through rice fields of the Guangxi province, or viewing the incredible limestone peaks of Yangshuo.

Accommodation and WiFi

Your accommodation will be in either a volunteer house, dormitory-style hostel, or a homestay near your placement. All accommodations have been inspected thoroughly by local staff and chosen because of their safety and security.

Xi’an accommodation: You’ll stay in a volunteer house located in a compound of apartments with a security guard and a security gate. You can expect to share a bedroom with up to five other volunteers of the same gender. Bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. Living is basic but comfortable and the volunteer house has electricity, running water and western bathrooms with hot water.

If you would prefer to not live in a dormitory situation with shared facilities, there is the option of upgrading to a 3-star hotel located nearby. You will have a private room and bathroom with breakfast provided in the hotel restaurant.

WiFi is available for volunteers to use at the volunteer house in Xi’an. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to keep connected.

Weinan accommodation: Volunteers on the Teaching project in Weinan will be accommodated in an apartment within the school grounds. Living is basic but comfortable and you can expect to share a bedroom with up to five other volunteers of the same gender. Bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. There is WiFi available and western bathrooms with hot water. Weinan is a 1.5 hour trip from Xi’an City and you will travel by metro and train.

Village accommodation: Generally on the Summer Outreaching Teaching project, you will be accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel at a summer camp or with a local family in a homestay.

The homestay has electricity and very basic facilities including a squat toilet and due to the lack of heating in these homes, you would usually only be placed in a village during the summer months. Staying with a family is a great way to learn the Chinese way of life, meet local people, eat local food and engage in local customs and traditions. IVHQ gives the family money from your fee for support, food and board. You can expect to share a room with one other volunteer in the homestay.

The village placements are located 1-4 hours drive from Xi’an and you will be driven there by taxi.

Meals

Food in Xi’an blends traditional Chinese and Middle-Eastern cooking. Flatbread, pita bread and barbecued meat are often sold at street stalls and noodles, soups, dumplings and steamed buns are some of the favorite dishes in Xi’an. Meat is a staple of the Xi’an diet however, there are plenty of vegetable options on offer. Unlike other areas in China, food is generally spicy in Xi’an.

You will be given breakfast, lunch and dinner during your stay. Typically, volunteers eat breakfast at their accommodation, with lunch and dinner provided at their placement. During weekends you will be provided with brunch, rather than breakfast and lunch.

Bottled water is readily available in China and you should budget approximately $5 per week for 2 litres a day. Filtered water is also provided in some of the accommodation.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know and the local team will do their best to accommodate you. However, you will need to be flexible and should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $335 Equivalent to $48/day
2 weeks $515 Equivalent to $37/day
3 weeks $695 Equivalent to $33/day
4 weeks $875 Equivalent to $31/day
5 weeks $1,055 Equivalent to $30/day
6 weeks $1,235 Equivalent to $29/day
8 weeks $1,595 Equivalent to $28/day
10 weeks $1,955 Equivalent to $28/day
12 weeks $2,315 Equivalent to $28/day
16 weeks $3,035 Equivalent to $27/day
20 weeks $3,755 Equivalent to $27/day
24 weeks $4,475 Equivalent to $27/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £272) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in China generally find US$50 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Breakfast, lunch during the weekdays and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Weekend lunch
  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Check what's required to visit China

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Beijing
Population 1.4 billion
Languages Standard Mandarin
Currency Chinese Yuan (CNY)
Time zone UTC+08:00

Weather and climate

The climate of China is extremely diverse; subtropical in the south to subarctic in the north. Xi’an has a continental temperate climate with four distinct seasons; dry winters, a warm but variable spring, hot, wet summers and cool and rainy autumn. The warm season lasts from May to August with an average daily high temperature above 26°C (78.8°F) and monsoon rains are heavy and frequent. The cold season lasts from December to February with an average daily high temperature below 9°C (48.2°F). The coldest time of the year is mid-January, with an average low of -7°C (-19.4°F) and high of 3°C (37.4°F).

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How to get started

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